The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized an outbreak in China of pneumonia caused by the 2019-nCoV coronavirus as an international emergency. This was announced on Thursday in Geneva by WHO Director-General Tedros Adan Gebreyesus following a meeting of the emergency committee.
“We don’t know what damage this virus will cause if it spreads in a country with a weak health system”, he said. “We must help these states prepare for this possibility. For this reason, I declared an emergency of international concern in links to the global outbreak of the new coronavirus”.
The WHO head estiated China’s response to the disease. He said he was impressed by the response of the Chinese authorities to the outbreak of coronavirus. According to him, in addition to China, 98 cases of the disease are registered in 18 countries in the world. Only in four countries outside of China is transmission from person to person recorded – in Vietnam, Germany, the USA and Japan. The fact that these cases are relatively few, he called the result of effective actions by China, and the announcement of the international emergency regime “is not a vote of no confidence in China”.
The emergency mode allows you to draw international attention to the outbreak of the disease and funds to fight it. It mobilizes the efforts of the world community to solve health problems.
The general director made seven recommendations in connection with the outbreak of coronavirus in China. Their implementation is designed to prevent the spread of the disease. “Firstly, there is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade,” he said, explaining that WHO does not recommend restrictions on travel and trade with China. The second recommendation is the need to support countries with weak health systems. Thirdly, the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics should be accelerated. Fourth, you need to “fight the spread of rumors and incorrect information.” Fifth, the international community must “re-examine preparatory plans, identify gaps and identify resources” to counter the spread of the virus. Sixth, countries should share information and experience “with WHO and the rest of the world”. Seventh recommendation: to defeat the disease, all countries must act “in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation.” As the head of WHO emphasized, this is a common problem that can only be solved together.