Coronavirus has officially been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization WHO), as the deadly virus continues to spread outside of China.
The Director-General confimred in an official statement that there are now a total of 98 cases of Coronavirus in 18 countries outside of China, including 8 cases of human-to-human transmission in four countries: Germany, Japan, Viet Nam and the USA.
He statement reads:
“So far we have not seen any deaths outside China, for which we must all be grateful. Although these numbers are still relatively small compared to the number of cases in China, we must all act together now to limit further spread.
“The vast majority of cases outside China have a travel history to Wuhan, or contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan.
“We don’t know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were to spread in a country with a weaker health system.
“We must act now to help countries prepare for that possibility.
“For all of these reasons, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus.
“The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries.”
The Director-General added that the biggest concern right is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems – than those in China and the UK, for example. He stressed in his statement that this evening’s declaration is not to be taken as a vote of no confidence in China. He said:
On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.
As you know, I was in China just a few days ago, where I met with President Xi Jinping. I left in absolutely no doubt about China’s commitment to transparency, and to protecting the world’s people.
As of this evening, there are now 7834 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, including 7736 in China, representing almost 99% of all reported cases worldwide. 170 people have lost their lives to this outbreak, all of them in China.
The WHO boss told the world:
“We must remember that these are people, not numbers.
“More important than the declaration of a public health emergency are the committee’s recommendations for preventing the spread of the virus and ensuring a measured and evidence-based response.”
His final words are echoing throughout the world tonight:
“And seventh, the only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.
“This is the time for facts, not fear.
“This is the time for science, not rumours.
“This is the time for solidarity, not stigma.”
Images via Getty
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow