The killer coronavirus outbreak, which started in China, has been declared a global public health emergency.
The decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to say it is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) comes as the number of people who have died from the virus has reached 170.
So far, all the deaths have occurred in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.
Chinese health authorities also said there were 7,736 confirmed cases in the country.
There have also been 82 confirmed infections in 18 countries, including France and the United States, according to the WHO, and in some cases there has been human-to-human transmission.
A PHEIC is officially defined as a formal declaration of “an extraordinary event” that poses a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease which could potentially require an international response.
It implies a situation that is “serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected”, which may call for immediate international action.
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Thus, a global health emergency is a call to action and “last resort” measure.
Source : Sky News