The novel coronavirus has spread across 18 countries around the world, not including cases in China, the number of infected people close to 100. Owing to a global outbreak, the WHO has declared a global emergency as the outbreak has continued its pillage outside of China.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Meanwhile, the U.S has advised all its citizens not to travel to China. The State Department of the United States even issued a level four warning – Even urging citizens to consider using commercial means to travel.
A total of 213 people have died in China at the time of writing with more than 3,000 infected in the Hubei province with almost 10,000 cases in the international space. With the previous reason for transmission of the virus believed to be animal-to-human, there have been eight cases of human-to-human transmission in Japan, Germany, Vietnam, and the United States.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr. Tedros described the virus as an “unprecedented outbreak” that has been met with an “unprecedented response”. He praised the “extraordinary measures” the Chinese authorities had taken and said there was no reason to limit trade or travel to China. “Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” he further quotes.
However, before the announcement was made, various firms who have their offices in China such as Google, Ikea, Starbucks and Tesla have closed their shops or halted operations completely, with Ikea initiating the lockdown of all their stores across China.
Many firms in China have upgraded to the same policy with many issuing a work from home policy. The WHO usually does not declare a global emergency lightly with the last one being declared during the Ebola outbreak of 2019, making this only the 6th occurrence.