Current Affairs
WHO Representative Dr Galea: on the CoronaVirus

There are growing concerns about the Coronavirus, as the number of fatalities has risen to a total of 18, with another 600 cases having been identified. The Chinese authorities have stopped travel to and from the city of Wuhan and Huangang in an effort to stop the outbreak.

The representative of the World Health Organization, Dr. Gaudens Galea, said that the restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities were unprecedented.

“If you look at WHO guidance, there has been no guidance for any travel or trade restrictions, so the lockdown is in excess of the current guidance that WHO is providing, and therefore the lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history.”

In comments to international media, Dr Galea said that the World Health Organization expects cases to increase but has not yet declared medical emergency. He said it was not easy to identify as the symptoms were like those of seasonal flu.

”So this is virus that has emerged under the camouflage of millions of cases of milder respiratory infection, so finding the cases is actually quite difficult and a major feat that has to be done by the public health investigators.”

The authorities have confirmed that the coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person through human contact and cause a type of pneumonia.

Several countries around the world are taking measures so that passengers coming from places where there were suspected cases of the CoronaVirus are examined on arrival at the airport. In Scotland, four people who traveled from Wuhan and had symptoms of respiratory problems, are suspected of having the virus.

The virus has led to a sharp increase in the use of face masks including on airlines operating flights to China. Various activities related to early Chinese new year have been cancelled.

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