WHO declares global health emergency over coronavirus outbreak

Many countries including India are starting to airlift their nationals from China.

Beijing/New Delhi: The World Health Organization has declared the new coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency after the death toll in China rose to 170 , with more than 7,800 cases confirmed in almost 20 countries.

“The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom posted on Twitter, Efe news reported.

“Let me be clear: this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.”

The virus was detected in India for the first time since the outbreak. An Indian overseas student at the University of Wuhan was currently in isolation in the southern state of Kerala, India’s health ministry said, adding that he was stable and being closely monitored.

Many countries including India have started evacuating their nationals from China.

India is preparing to airlift its citizens on Friday from China’s Wuhan city, the epicenter of the coronavirus. India earlier requested China for permission to operate two flights to bring back its nationals from worst-affected central Hubei province. Wuhan is the provincial capital of Hubei. 

Meanwhile, Russia, which so far has not reported any cases of coronavirus, has closed its eastern border with China.

Also, US Health authorities confirmed Thursday the first case of “local” transmission. A woman in Chicago that got sick in Wuhan passed it on to someone who lives with her.

There have been no deaths recorded outside of China.

Image courtesy of IANS

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