WHO says China's coronavirus 'too early' for emergency declaration

24 Janvier, 2020, 03:43 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Watch live: Will WHO declare coronavirus outbreak public health emergency?

Normally bustling streets, shopping malls, restaurants and other public spaces in the city of 11 million people were eerily quiet.

The outbreak is believed to have originated in snakes, and has been confirmed transmittable from human to human.

Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down three cities that are home to more than 18 million people in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds and spread to other parts of the world during the busy Lunar New Year travel period. Hours later, neighbouring Huanggang, a city of about 7 million people, announced similar measures.

The coronavirus was detected in Wuhan three weeks ago. That person is a 53-year-old woman from Wuhan. "He disinfected his house and stocked up on instant noodles", Liu said.

He noted that residents around the live animal market suspected to the source of the outbreak were not taking any precautions or wearing masks.

"Any travellers returning from Wuhan or elsewhere in China who become unwell, particularly with respiratory symptoms, within 14 days of their return, are advised to call their GP or NHS 111 and report their recent travel".

"And I think that as long as the virus is circulating in China as it appears to be, the rest of the world is going to be constantly pinged with it, as a result of people traveling to and from China in the near future", he said.

According to Dr. Kamran Khan, one of the reasons why assessing Canada's risk level remains hard to assess is because there's no non-stop flights from Wuhan, the Chinese city in which the virus was first detected, to Canada.

At about 10:15 a.m. Thursday, all metro stations in the city have been closed.

"The new pneumonia is our new common enemy", Shi Chengwei, a driver, told AFP. About 5,000 people remain under medical observation.

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Numerous people with severe forms of the new coronavirus were men older than 40 who had existing health issues. Both territories have confirmed cases.

The Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University issued an appeal for donations of masks and protective clothing to alumni.

The WHO has said it will decide on Thursday whether to declare the outbreak a global health emergency, which would step up the worldwide response.

The unknown type of viral pneumonia was first reported in Wuhan in early January and has since been confirmed by China and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be a new strain of the coronavirus, now being labeled as 2019-nCoV or Novel Coronavirus.

A quarantine of this scale has not been attempted before, with the size of the cities making a full lockdown almost impossible.

"But it has not yet become a global health emergency".

Among the confirmed cases, 399 patients are receiving treatment in hospitals, with 71 in severe condition and 24 in critical condition, said Yang Yunyan, vice governor of the province, at a local press conference. "We stressed to them that by having a strong action, not only they will control the outbreak in their country, but they will also minimize the chances of this outbreak spreading internationally". He added that the global community should be prepared for a "potential evolution of the epidemic that may require" declaring a PHEIC.

Hajdu said the federal government is working with global partners to identify the disease and determine next steps. However, he urged officials in the country to continue sharing data with the World Health Organization and other nations, particularly if the outbreak spread.

According to the committee, to date, all of the cases in areas outside China, where the virus was first identified, occurred in people who had traveled to the Asian nation.

Guan Yi, director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at Hong Kong University in Hong Kong, said in a January 23 interview with Chinese financial magazine Caixin that his "conservative estimate is that the epidemic could end up at least 10 times the scale of SARS".

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