World Health Organization declares global health emergency



The second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in the People’s Republic of China, with exportations to other countries, took place on Thursday, 30 January 2020, from 13:30 to 18:35 Geneva time (CEST). The Committee’s role is to give advice to the Director-General, who makes the final decision on the determination of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The Committee also provides public health advice or suggests formal Temporary Recommendations as appropriate.



The World Health Organization has declared a “public health emergency of international concern” over the outbreak of the 2019nCoV, or the Wuhan coronavirus. The international body didn't recommend travel and trade restrictions.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the coronavirus “a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak” at a press conference on Thursday, but said the WHO was not recommending restrictions of trade or travel with China, where the virus originated.

Tedros pointed out that the declaration was "not a vote of no confidence in China," but made out of concern for other countries, with "weaker" healthcare systems.

China’s response to the outbreak has been “very impressive,” the WHO chief added. “So is China’s commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries."

The Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk. It is important to note that as the situation continues to evolve, so will the strategic goals and measures to prevent and reduce spread of the infection.

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