The United States promised to support and encourage the aid work in North Korea to “counter and contain” spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the region. Citing North’s vulnerability to the deadly virus, State Department spokesperson Morgan Orgatus, in a statement, said that the US “strongly support” and “encourage” the work of national and international health organisations to combat coronavirus.
“The United States is ready and prepared to expeditiously facilitate the approval of assistance from these organizations,” said Orgatus.
The death toll due to coronavirus has spiked to nearly 1,500 and around 65,000 confirmed cases have been detected till now. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, several other countries have also now reported deaths related to COVID-19.
The latest cause of concern has been the deaths of people with no travel history to China. On February 13, Japan confirmed the death of an 80-year-old woman who was not even the part of the quarantined cruised off the Japanese coast. China’s National Health Commission said that the total number of cases soared to 64,894 with 5,090 new cases.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has claimed that the sharp rise in the number of cases did not represent any kind of trajectory shift in the epidemic but was because of a change in counting methods. Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme, said that the increase in the number of cases is due to a change in how cases are being reported.
Meanwhile, the WHO has been frequently releasing situation report on COVID-19 and have found increasing evidence that established a link between the novel coronavirus and other similar known coronaviruses. Referring to the Rhinolophus bat sub-species, the WHO said that they are abundant and widely present in Southern China, and across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
“Recent studies indicate that more than 500 CoVs have been identified in bats in China,” the report read.