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02/03/2020 / By Ethan Huff
After a few weeks ago deciding not to declare a global public health emergency in response to coronavirus, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has now changed its mind, citing “deeply concerning” cases of the disease that have since emerged.
Growing evidence suggests that coronavirus is now increasingly spreading from person to person outside of China, which health authorities previously denied. So, the W.H.O. held emergency committee meetings to determine whether or not a global emergency declaration is now warranted.
The United Nations (U.N.), which oversees the W.H.O., announced previously that it was “too early” to signal a global crisis because human-to-human transmission of the virus had not yet been observed. But now that it has, all bets are off as to how this thing could possibly spiral out of control on a global scale.
As of this writing, the official infection count stands at nearly 15,000 cases, with 305 officially reported deaths. And within a matter of days, warn some experts, infection numbers could balloon into the hundreds of thousands.
There are now at least six coronavirus cases in which the infected individuals had not previously traveled to China, according to W.H.O.’s health emergencies programme executive director Michael Ryan. This indicates that the virus is, in fact, now being transmitted outside of China.
To keep up with the latest coronavirus news, be sure to check out Outbreak.news.
What makes human-to-human coronavirus transmission even more of a concern is the fact that it can happen when symptoms aren’t even evident. This is how a 33-year-old German man caught it from one of his visiting Chinese colleagues, who reportedly became ill after she returned back to China.
This is what W.H.O. director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called “deeply concerning,” adding that this newfound evidence of how coronavirus is actually behaving – versus what public health authorities had initially claimed – shows “potential for a much larger outbreak.”
The W.H.O. is planning to make a public announcement about whether or not coronavirus is a global public health emergency on Thursday, January 30, from Geneva, Switzerland, immediately following the emergency committee’s meetings.
Ghebreyesus has also issued a public apology for his agency’s report from last week that dubbed the global risk from coronavirus “moderate,” as opposed to its newly revised designation of “high.”
Citing “human error in preparing the report,” Ghebreyesus claimed on Twitter that the previous designation was a mistake.
Gheybreyesus hasn’t, however, addressed accusations that his agency dropped the ball in praising the communist Chinese government for supposedly being transparent in its response to the outbreak, even though it’s now abundantly obvious that China has been downplaying the severity of what’s really going on over there in Wuhan.
It has also come out that China may have actually stolen this particular strain of coronavirus from a Canadian laboratory a while back, implicating the communist dictatorship in unleashing a deadly bioweapon.
“I strongly advocated on air for [the W.H.O.] to declare a global health emergency today,” tweeted Eric Feigl Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist at Harvard University‘s Chan School of Public Health.
“The facts are pretty clear this #coronavirus #nCoV2019 epidemic is no longer localized to China and has higher pandemic risk than SARS,” he added.
Due to his complicity in failing to disclose information about the disease in a timely manner, the mayor of Wuhan has publicly offered to resign from his position. Meanwhile, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi recently told British foreign secretary Dominic Raab that the epidemic is “generally controllable and curable,” even as coronavirus appears to be spreading exponentially.
Sources for this article include:
Tagged Under: coronavirus, declaration, deeply concering, global emergency, global health emergency, Global Pandemic, human-to-human transmission, outbreak, pandemic, Public Health, WHO, World Health Organization
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