Coronavirus Declared a Global Health Emergency by World Health Organization

in Featured, In The News
February 3rd, 2020

Coronavirus has “escalated into an unprecedented outbreak” with more than 8,000 cases in a month, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency, the United Nations agency’s chief said.

“Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak, and which has been met by an unprecedented response,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who stopped short of calling for travel bans and focused instead on providing aid to countries with weaker health care systems.

There are now more than 8,000 coronavirus cases, with at least 98 cases in 18 countries outside China. At least 170 people have died, all in China. The number of coronavirus cases in one month has already topped the 9-month SARS outbreak in 2003, and Ghebreyesus noted the spread of the virus between people beyond China.

John Connor of Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories said the declaration “provides worldwide notice that the virus is rapidly spreading and there is a risk that it will be transmitted not only between people in China but that it will be transmitted between people in other countries as well.”

At least 15 airlines worldwide have stopped service to China over coronavirus fears. In Massachusetts — with more than 25,000 Chinese nationals enrolled in local colleges and three flights arriving from China daily — Massport, Gov. Charlie Baker and other local officials have declined to call for travel bans, deferring to federal authorities who for now are monitoring the disease.

Click to read full article in Boston Herald