World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against the global over-reaction over the new coronavirus outbreak in China. As per reports, WHO said that the disease has affected a 'tiny' proportion of people outside its epicentre in China's Hubei province, following panic-buying that has lead to event cancellations and concerns about cruise ship travel. WHO reportedly said that the blanket measures may not help and has criticised the travel ban and suggestion to halt all cruises. The cruise ship travel has come under light after hundreds of people became infected onboard a vessel off the coast of Japan.
WHO has praised China's effort to contain the virus as authorities in the country have placed millions of people under quarantine in Wuhan, virtually sealing off the city from the rest of the country. China reportedly built a hospital in a record time of just eight days to house patients infected by the disease. China is feeling the crunch from the epidemic as the country's economy has been paralysed by vast quarantine measures from major companies and airlines. According to reports, many events, including cultural and sports, have been cancelled over fears about the spread of the contagious virus. Major airlines had earlier suspended their operations in China with some country barring their citizens from travelling to the east Asian country.
According to media reports, the new coronavirus has claimed more than 1,800 lives in China alone and has infected over 71,000 people since it first broke out in December last year. The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) had earlier said that the virus has already spread to 27 countries, including as far as western Europe. As per reports, the coronavirus originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the believed epicentre of the disease. Media reports also stated that animals were being traded illegally in the market from where the disease originated.
The coronavirus has claimed more lives than its predecessor Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). According to reports, SARS, which broke out in China in 2002-2003 had claimed more than 774 lives, which is way below the current death toll from COVID-19. According to reports, China on February 13 reported the highest number of deaths caused by the virus in a single day as 254 people died in Hubei province.
(With inputs from agencies)