WHO Declares Global Emergency As Coronavirus Continues To Spread Rapidly
(Tea Party 247) – The World Health Organization has declared the spread of the coronavirus from China a global emergency as the virus has now appeared in more than a dozen countries, including the United States. The dangerous virus has seen a tenfold spike in cases as of Thursday causing the WHO to declare it an emergency.
The WHO defines an international emergency as an “extraordinary event” that poses a risk to other countries and “requires a coordinated international response,” according to NewsMax.
The first cases were reported to WHO in late December and to date, China has reported more than 7,800 cases which include 170 deaths. Now, 18 other countries have reported cases involving the virus and scientists are frantically trying to figure out just how the virus is spreading. There have, in several countries, been isolated incidents of human-to-human transmission signaling that the virus may be becoming adapted to human transmission. That’s not a good sign.
On Thursday, China raised the death toll to 170 and more countries reported infections, including some spread locally, as foreign evacuees from China’s worst-hit region returned home to medical tests and even isolation.
Russia announced it was closing its 2,600-mile border with China, joining Mongolia and North Korea in barring crossings to guard against a new viral outbreak. It had been de facto closed because of the Lunar New Year holiday, but Russian authorities said the closure would be extended until March 1.
Train traffic between the countries was halted except for one train connecting Moscow and Beijing, but air traffic between the two countries continued, at least for now. Russia has not confirmed any cases of the virus.
The new virus has now infected more people in China than were sickened there during the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, a cousin of the new virus.
The latest figures for mainland China show an increase of 38 deaths and 1,737 cases for a total of 7,736 confirmed cases.
Of the new deaths, 37 were in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, and one was in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Outside China, there are 82 infections in 18 countries, according to WHO.
China extended its Lunar New Year holiday to Sunday to try to keep people home, but the wave of returning travelers could potentially cause the virus to spread further.
Transport ministry spokesman Wu Chungeng outlined a series of rigorous temperature checks and other “severe measures” to detect possibly infectious passengers. Transport restrictions such as those isolating Wuhan and suspending inter-provincial bus services would remain in place, Wu said.
The death rate of this coronavirus is being estimated to be at around 2% but this is extremely preliminary and we just haven’t seen the full effect of this virus yet as it has yet to be successfully contained. Scientists also believe many cases of the virus are being missed.
Thankfully, America has one of the best healthcare infrastructures in the world so the virus will hopefully be cutoff here before it can infect too many more people, despite the fact that it has been infecting people via human-to-human transmission.
Featured image credit: Newsmax.com