Coronavirus Outbreak Is ‘public Health Emergency Of International Concern,’ Who Declares

February 29, 2020

“The only way we can overcome this epidemic is by working together for all nations.”

Officials announced today (January 30) that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

The news comes as the number of cases and deaths of the virus have soared in recent days. According to the WHO, as of Thursday (January 30), there were 7,736 cases in China, with 170 deaths, and 98 cases in 18 other countries.

Although the number of cases outside China is relatively small compared to the current number of cases in China, officials emphasize that efforts need to be made to further stop the spread of the virus.

“The only way we can fight this outbreak is if all countries have Work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. “” We share the same shame. “

Today’s announcement is a reversal of WHO’s decision last week not to announce public health emergencies of international concern.

The main reason for making this statement was fears that the virus might spread to countries with weak health systems. “We don’t know what harm the virus could do if it spreads in countries with weak health systems,” Ghebreyesus said.

As for China’s own epidemic, Ghiblijessus stressed: “The World Health Organization continues to have full confidence in China’s ability to control the epidemic.”

According to CNN, the declaration could help WHO better coordinate the international community’s response to the outbreak, especially in countries that are not prepared for the virus.

Ghebreyesus emphasized that at this time WHO does not recommend any trade or travel restrictions on such outbreaks.

WHO announced this emergency only five times before: a pandemic outbreak of “swine flu” in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Zika virus outbreak in 2016, 2019 Ebola outbreak According to the New York Times, a bird flu outbreak has occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The organization first formulated the statement in 2005 after a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak.