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WHO declares global virus emergency as death toll hits 213

Atta Ur Rehman KhanWeb Editor & Columnist

31st Jan, 2020. 08:27 pm
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The United Nations (UN) health agency based in Geneva had initially downplayed the threat posed by the disease, but revised its risk assessment after crisis talks.

According to AFP, The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global emergency over the new coronavirus, as China reported Friday the death toll had climbed to 213 with nearly 10,000 infections.

According to the World Health Organization, The total number of confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus reported from mainland China to date is 9,692. This includes 1,527 severe cases and 213 people who have died.

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva yesterday (Jan 30).

“We must all act together now to limit further spread… We can only stop it together.”

Tedros nevertheless said travel and trade restrictions with China were unnecessary to stem the spread of the virus, which has spread to more than 15 other countries.

The US reported its first case of a person catching the virus from another person on American soil – a man in Chicago who contracted the illness from his wife, who had travelled to Wuhan.

Airlines began cancelling flights servicing China on Wednesday (Jan 29), and more followed suit yesterday.

More than 6,000 tourists were temporarily put under lockdown aboard a cruise ship at an Italian port after two Chinese passengers were isolated over fears they could be carrying the virus. They later tested negative for the illness.

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