The developments come after deaths in Hubei province, which is the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 204 total deaths and over 9,692 cases of people infected by the virus. As many as 18 countries across the world have reported around 100 cases of coronavirus. However, no deaths have been reported outside China.
Countries from across the world are calling-off trade and transportation with China to curb the outbreak. Earlier firms like Starbucks and Google have shut down operations in the country.
However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said the organization “doesn’t recommend – and actually opposes” restrictions on travel or trade with China.
What Happens During a Global Health Emergency?
A Global Health Emergency is declared to send a message about the serious outbreak that could affect people and their health across the world. As the heath emergency is declared, nations from across the world come together to raise awareness and funds to fight a situation.
The designation also helps to persuade people in the residents in infected countries to abide by health and hygiene recommendations. Moreover, Health Emergency also gives WHO the right to forge travel advisories for cities, regions and 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. Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” WHO said.
As of now, as many as 60 million people are virtually stranded in China’s Hubei province.