The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus as a global emergency.
The announcement was made by director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a press conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what’s happening in China but what’s happening in other countries,” said Dr. Tedros. What worries them is that the virus might attack countries with poor health system.
To date, over 213 people in China have died as a result of the outbreak. WHO further added that there had been 98 cases in 18 different countries, but no deaths had been reported yet. Most cases came from people who just came back from travelling to the city, according to BBC.
Additionally, the Chinese government received appraisal from Dr. Tedros for their “extraordinary measures” in preventing the outbreak from increasing. He also assured that the surprising declaration is not seen as a vote of disbelief against the mainland after several media outlets allegedly attempted to politicise WHO.
Precautionary steps have been taken by people across the world in order to avoid from being infected by the virus. This include closing the borders as well as cancelling flights from Wuhan. Giant companies namely Google, Ikea, Starbucks and Tesla have also stopped their operations for the time being.
Health and science correspondent analyst James Gallagher also voiced his support for WHO’s decision, saying that countries with medium to low sources of income will be negatively impacted by the disease.
This is not the first time for WHO to come out with such decision. Prior to this, the declaration was issued following the outbreak of Ebola virus in 2014 and 2019.
In another news, the recent reports about a 23-year-old Indian man who allegedly died in Malaysia after being infected by the virus was proven to be false. The Health Ministry took to Twitter to clarify the issue.
Berdasarkan maklumat yang diterima sehingga jam 6 petang, 30 Januari 2020, tiada rekod warganegara India berumur 23 tahun yang direkodkan oleh makmal yang menjalankan ujian pengesahan 2019-nCoV di Malaysia.#FakeNews pic.twitter.com/GMG19urXZP
— KKMPutrajaya (@KKMPutrajaya) January 30, 2020
The statement reads, “Based on information that we received as of 6pm on Jan 30 (Thursday), there is no record of any Indian citizen aged 23 recorded by our laboratory that tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). #FakeNews.”
According to an India-based media outlet, the grandfather of the “deceased” individual was informed by Malaysian authorities that his grandson had died of coronavirus on Wednesday (29th January). They further added that the man, Manir Hossain, had travelled to our country in 2018 and was working in a food stall.
Enough with the false alarms, guys!