UPDATE: New coronavirus in China may spread to other countries faster than expected say WHO calls for an emergency meeting
THE World Health Organisation on Tuesday has confirmed that the new strain of coronavirus of unknown origin without a vaccine yet may very well spread around the world if it is not contained immediately.
With speculations that the virus might be contracted through human-to-human contacts, the Chinese health authority and the WHO have finally confirmed that individuals can get infected from personal contacts.
So far, fifteen medical staff had been infected and a fourth person had died early Tuesday afternoon according to authorities in the country.
As fear mounts in the country, the financial market has seen shivers in the rate of trading as the WHO called an emergency meeting for Wednesday to consider declaring an international emergency.
“More cases should be expected in other parts of China and possibly other countries in the coming days,” said Tarik Jasarevic, WHO spokesman to Reuters.
The outbreak has also spread to other cities, with 15 cases in the southern province of Guangdong, five in the capital Beijing and two in Shanghai.
Countries like the United States, as well as many Asian countries, including Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea, have stepped up screening of passengers from China.
Fortunately, Chinese prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday this week have been graciously allowed by at least nine Chinese airlines that had been quarantined or diagnosed with the virus to reschedule or cancel their flights for free.