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WHO Declared Coronavirus Global Emergency

WHO declared global emergency
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The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Thursday as the coronavirus outbreak spread beyond China and the death toll rose to 213.

WHO said that representatives of the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China reported on the current situation and the public health measures being taken. There are now 7711 confirmed and 12167 suspected cases throughout the country. Of the confirmed cases, 1370 are severe and 170 people have died. 124 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital. 

The WHO Secretariat provided an overview of the situation in other countries. There are now 83 cases in 18 countries. Of these, only 7 had no history of travel in China. There has been human-to-human transmission in 3 countries outside China. One of these cases is severe and there have been no deaths.

The Emergency Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk. It is important to note that as the situation continues to evolve, so will the strategic goals and measures to prevent and reduce spread of the infection. The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as Temporary Recommendations.  

The United States issued a Level 4 warning, its highest, urging Americans to avoid travel to China. “Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice,” the State Department said.

Russia announced it was closing its 2,600-mile (4,180 kilometer) border with China, joining Mongolia and North Korea in barring crossings to guard against a new viral outbreak.

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