By Bohol Island News Staff | 8:20 AM January 31, 2020
Image: Screenshot from WHO meeting

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday declared coronavirus an international health emergency.

In a press conference, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the declaration is “not a vote of no confidence in China”.

He even praised China’s efforts to contain the break.

“The Chinese government is to be congratulated for extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak.”

“We don’t know what sort of damage coronavirus could do if it spreads to a country with a weaker health system,” said Ghebreyesus. “We must act now.”

The Philippines on Thursday confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

At a press conference, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said that a woman admitted in the Philippines had nCoV.

Duque said the woman, 38, came from Wuhan, China. She arrived in the Philippines via Hongkong last January 21.

WHO reconvened its emergency committee in a meeting to evaluate the crisis, after declining to declare the outbreak an international health emergency during a meeting January 23, 2020.

A global emergency includes recommendations to all countries for the prevention and reduction of cross-border spread of the virus, as well as guidelines for worldwide health officials to monitor, prepare and contain any infection, but WHO has no legal authority to sanction countries.

The WHO meeting also follows earlier reports that the total number of infected cases in China (over 8,100) surpassed the number of people infected with SARS during the 2002-2003 outbreak, with the Chinese death roll reaching 171. With reports from Forbes and StraitTimes

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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