Coronavirus: Will it be declared as International Public Health Emergency by WHO

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said physicians need more information.

His committee, who held an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, was set to meet again on Thursday.

The coronavirus has killed at least 17 people and sickened hundreds of others in China. WHO experts met on Wednesday to evaluate whether the new coronavirus outbreak constitutes an international emergency but decided more information was needed to declare the status of the outbreak and what recommendations should be made regarding it, including potential cross-border screening, greater surveillance and rolling out treatment programs.

Only five such emergencies have been declared in the past decade -

  • H1 virus that caused an influenza pandemic (2009)
  • West Africas Ebola outbreak (2013-2016)
  • Polio (2014)
  • Zika virus (2016)
  • Ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2019).

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA