Coronavirus takes over Asian countries, WHO says it’s no global emergency yet

THE novel coronavirus, an unknown case of pneumonia that causes respiratory infection, is gradually becoming an epidemic as six Asian countries and the United States have confirmed several cases of infected persons. 

The countries include; China – which has recorded over 800 cases, with 177 serious conditions, Singapore; having three confirmed cases of SARS-like version of the virus and others like Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States with a record of one infected person.

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans and so far, it has killed 17 people in China, with possibility of the death toll rising.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) began in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, sometime in December and has been linked to a seafood and animal market located in the City.

With thousands of suspected cases and hundreds of infected persons, news of the virus becoming a global epidemic is being propagated, and some countries have begun taking precautionary measures in allowing people from the region into their country.

In Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released a public health advisory on its website, revealing that it is currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria.

The organisation also stated that it is in communication with the World Health Organization (WHO), who is closely monitoring the situation globally.

On its part, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health has begun screening passengers entering the country. Punch reports that the manager of Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, has revealed that temperature and statistics of passengers are being taken as they arrive at the airports through body scanners.






     

     

    Despite the worrying indices, WHO has maintained that it won’t declare the virus a global emergency yet.

    According to a report by Health Care Finance , the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee have declared that it is too early to declare it a health emergency and plan to reconvene in ten days to reconsider its current position.

    For now, WHO has shared some details of the virus on its official Twitter page, describing it as zoonotic in nature; meaning they are distributed between animals and people.

    In carrying out preventive measures, WHO has advised that regular hand washing and covering of mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing can go a long way in staying healthy.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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