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[2019-Novel Coronavirus] Coronavirus not yet a global emergency -- WHO
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2020.01.24 10:15
  • Updated 2020.01.26 14:54
  • comments 0

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that it has decided that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak has not yet reached a level that would make it consider as a global emergency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explains why the WHO has not decided to declare 2019-nCoV as a global emergency, during a press conference following the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on Coronavirus on Friday.

"Now is not the time. It's too early to consider that this event is a public health emergency of international concern," WHO Emergency Committee Chairman Didier Houssin said during a news conference Friday. "However, the opinions of the committees were divided into half, suggesting that WHO is seriously aware of the new coronavirus infection."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said, "At this time, there is no evidence of human to human transmission outside China. "The WHO does not currently recommend any border restrictions on travel or trade."

As a current measure, the WHO suggested that countries tighten up security at airports to filter any suspected cases of the new coronavirus.

However, the WHO chief added that he would not hesitate to reconsider declaring an emergency, within a matter of days, if more evidence emerges to prove that the outbreak poses a global threat.

The WHO's decision comes as the coronavirus spreading to at least five other countries – South Korea, Japan, Thailand, U.S., and Vietnam --excluding China.

According to the WHO, the new coronavirus has infected a total of 584 patients and taken the lives of 17 patients as of Thursday. Of the total patients, 575 patients, and all deaths are known to have occurred in China.


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