Amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong on January 25 declared the virus as an 'emergency' and further upgraded the Hong Kong Disease contingency plan form 'serious' to 'emergency' level. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam while addressing a press conference also announced that the schools in the city have been suspended until February 17.
The deadly SARS-like virus which has already infected thousands and reportedly killed 41 people, however, still does not constitute as a global emergency as of yet. While speaking to an international media outlet, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organisation is not declaring it a public health emergency of international concern siting that while it is an emergency in China, it is yet to become a global health emergency.
In an earlier report, WHO had confirmed that the SARS-like virus could be passed with people to people contact and the Chinese officials warned that the virus could mutate and spread further. In a bid to extend precautionary measures, China has also locked down 13 cities -- including Wuhan, Huanggang, Ezhou, Zhijiang, Qianjiang, suspending all public transport to contain the deadly virus. Wuhan, where the deadly virus surfaced, has further reportedly announced to restrict car traffic in the city from January 26.
According to international media reports, the virus has further spread to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, South Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, Vietnam, Taiwan, US, France, Nepal, and Singapore. The mayor of the city of Wuhan has also urged citizens not to travel outside China during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday and the authorities have further issued a travel advisory warning in the backlash of coronavirus.
The Indian embassy in Beijing has also issued a travel advisory for people visiting India from China. The embassy said that travellers should avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness. It also asked all travellers from China, especially from Wuhan city, to monitor their health closely.