CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK DECLARED A GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY ‘ON AN UNPRECEDENTED SCALE’ BY WHO

• THE World Health Organisation’s (WHO) emergency committee has declared an international public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.

• WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tonight urged global action to tackle the spread of the deadly virus, which has killed more than 170 people in China.

• There have been more than 8,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, with fears the killer virus may spread to countries with poor health systems.

• The UK remains on high alert as fears spread with medics in hazmat suits seen in London and York and a Heathrow flight put on lockdown.

• Declaring the emergency tonight, WHO director-general Dr Ghebreyesus warned, 'the main reason is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries'.

• He added there have now been 98 cases in 18 countries outside China.


WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared a global health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. Credit: AP:Associated Press

THE World Health Organisation’s (WHO) emergency committee has declared an international public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.


WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tonight urged global action to tackle the spread of the deadly virus, which has killed more than 170 people in China.


THE MOST RECENT TIME THE WHO DECLARED A GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY WAS IN 2019 WHEN AN EBOLA OUTBREAK HIT EASTERN CONGO, KILLING MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE. PREVIOUS PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES INCLUDE THE 2009 SWINE FLU OUTBREAK WHICH KILLED KILLING MORE THAN 200,000 PEOPLE, A 2014 POLIO EMERGENCY AND THE 2016 SPREAD OF ZIKA IN THE AMERICAS. BRITAIN'S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICERS INCREASED THE RISK LEVEL OF CORONAVIRUS FROM LOW TO MODERATE, ADDING THEY “DO NOT THINK THE RISK TO INDIVIDUALS IN THE UK HAS CHANGED” BUT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD “PLAN FOR ALL EVENTUALITIES”.

There have been more than 8,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, with fears the killer virus may spread to countries with poor health systems.


The UK remains on high alert as fears spread with medics in hazmat suits seen in London and York and a Heathrow flight put on lockdown.


Declaring the emergency tonight, WHO director-general Dr Ghebreyesus warned, 'the main reason is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries'.


He added there have now been 98 cases in 18 countries outside China.


Every region of China now has coronavirus, which has killed 170 so far. Credit: Getty Images - Getty


Eight cases were of human-to-human transmission Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the US.


CORONAVIRUS PANIC


Dr Ghebreyesus said: "So far we have not seen any deaths outside China, for which we must all be grateful.


"Although these numbers are still relatively small compared to the number of cases in China, we must all act together now to limit further spread.


WHO declares coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Credit: CBC News


"The vast majority of cases outside China have a travel history to Wuhan, or contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan.


"We don't know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were to spread in a country with a weaker health system. We must act now to help countries prepare for that possibility."


The coronavirus outbreak continues to spiral - with more than 7,700 cases and 170 deaths

Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport wearing masks to protect their face. Credit: PA:Press Association


A medic boards a passenger plane on the tarmac in Zhoushan City, China. Credit: EPA


The most recent time the WHO declared a global health emergency was in 2019 when an Ebola outbreak hit eastern Congo, killing more than 2,000 people.


Previous public health emergencies include the 2009 Swine flu outbreak which killed killing more than 200,000 people, a 2014 polio emergency and the 2016 spread of Zika in the Americas.


Britain's chief medical officers increased the risk level of coronavirus from low to moderate, adding they “do not think the risk to individuals in the UK has changed” but the government should “plan for all eventualities”.


Meanwhile, a British rescue flight from coronavirus-hit Wuhan will finally leave China tonight.

Passengers will reportedly be taken to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral where they'll be quarantined for two weeks.


It's understood the flight will leave Wuhan at 11pm tonight (7am local time) and land at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at around 10.45am tomorrow.


Experts warned the first confirmed case of the deadly virus in Britain is only a matter of time as panic stalks the country.


Cases of the killer virus have tripled in just three days — with the strain infecting more people in China than SARS did.


Medics with hazmat suits on were seen leading a patient to an ambulance in university halls in London last night


World Health Organisation officials said coronavirus could be spread by touching surfaces that infected people have. Credit: Viral Press


A health worker in a hazmat suit discards clothes worn by someone infected by the killer virus. Credit: AsiaWire






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