Wuhan, China coronavirus outbreak
The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing viral epidemic primarily affecting Mainland China, along with isolated cases in 27 other countries and territories. In early December 2019 a new coronavirus, designated 2019, was identified in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, after 41 people developed pneumonia without a clear cause. The virus is capable of spreading from person to person. The incubation period of the virus (time from exposure to onset of symptoms) ranges from 2 to 14 days, but it may be contagious during this period and after recovery. Symptoms include fever, coughing and breathing difficulties, and the virus can be fatal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency. The virus started spreading in December from Wuhan.
More than 25 countries have been affected by the coronavirus, and the number of affected people is soon going to touch the figure of 10,000. As of now, 213 people have died due to the virus, and the death toll is increasing rapidly.
Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom, said that the main motive behind declaring coronavirus global health emergency is to save other countries from the effect of the coronavirus as they are unprepared to deal with it.
As reported by The Verge, WHO has not imposed any restrictions over trade and travel even after declaring a global health emergency. However, governments of various countries have been advised to take care of public health policies and bash any rumors related to the coronavirus.
WHO is also working swiftly to create vaccines for the coronavirus and support the countries with weak health management systems.
Global Health Emergency
The World Health Organization defines a situation of a global health emergency at a time of a hazardous event that causes a significant risk to public health by spreading internationally and needs to be dealt on an international level. The coronavirus outbreak is the sixth global health emergency declared by WHO to date.
WHO is supposed to declare a global health emergency if it is required. The WHO committee had two meetings last week but was unable to define coronavirus as a worldwide emergency as only China was affected by the virus. As soon as the virus started spreading in other countries and especially those with the weaker health system, WHO announced coronavirus as a global health emergency.
In such a situation, WHO has the right to recommend ways to stop the spread of disease to countries. The organization can also impose travel restrictions and permit its officials to keep a check on the public health measures in affected countries. The countries have a pressure to follow any recommendation, restriction, or advisory issued by WHO at the time of global health emergency.