Coronavirus outbreak: WHO declares an international public health emergency


https://youtu.be/8NnNunRXR80

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

However, the UN health body stressed that it does not recommend limiting trade and travel.

It also once again spoke highly of China’s prevention and containment measures.

A WHO declaration of an international public health emergency is rare, with only five going into effect in the past decade. These include situations concerning the 2009 H1 virus that caused an influenza pandemic, West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, polio in 2014, the Zika virus in 2016 and the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

No need to overreact on coronavirus PHEIC label: analysts 

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a global public health emergency (PHEIC), emphasizing that it was not a vote of no confidence in China. Chinese analysts said there is no need to overreact to the declaration while fighting the virus, although it could add extra pressure to the world’s second-largest economy.

Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an outbreak, and which has been met by an unprecedented response, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday.

At least 98 novel coronavirus cases have been reported in 18 countries, including eight human-to-human transmissions in Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and the US. The majority of the cases outside of China involved people who had traveled to Wuhan, or were in contact with someone who had visited the city, said Ghebreyesus.

After considering multiple factors, WHO designated the coronavirus as a PHEIC. However, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s ability to control the outbreak.

Chinese analysts said it was not necessary to overreact or interpret the news as a hostile attitude toward China from the global community. The shared priority is to prevent the deadly virus from spreading across the globe.

“Indeed, it may give extra pressure to China, with both economic and political implications,” Shen Yi, director at the Research Center for Cyberspace Governance of Fudan University, told the Global Times.

“But it’s up to how China continues fighting the epidemic in order to help its economy recovered,” Yi said, noting that the WHO decision has little influence on how other countries handle economic ties with China amid the pneumonia outbreak.

Serious events that endanger international health are considered to be PHEIC as it constitutes a risk to other countries through the spread of the disease, which is also “serious, unusual, or unexpected,” and carries implications for public health beyond the affected country’s borders or requires immediate international action, according to WHO.

A PHEIC declaration is rare, as only five have been made in the past decade including the H1N1 virus that caused an influenza pandemic in 2009, West Africa’s Ebola, polio in 2014, the Zika virus in 2016, and the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo that started in 2019.

Concerns have emerged over whether other countries would close their borders or impose trade and travel restrictions, which has happened in the past when a PHEIC is declared.

There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade, WHO said, calling for all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent after it declares novel coronavirus a global public health emergency.

According to the International Health Regulations (IHR), if the WHO declares a PHEIC, the director-general shall issue temporary recommendations including health measures regarding people, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods, and postal parcels to prevent or reduce the spread of the disease and avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic.

However, temporary recommendations are non-binding advisories issued by WHO and are on a time-limited, risk-specific basis, according to IHR.

When WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a PHEIC, the organization emphasized it was essential to avoid the punitive economic consequences of travel and trade restrictions on affected communities, in a statement published on its website in July 2019.

Under the IHR, countries implementing additional health measures going beyond what WHO recommends will be obliged to send public health rationale and justification within 48 hours of implementation for WHO to review, said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic to the Global Times on Thursday.

WHO is obliged to share the information about measures and the justification received with other countries involved, Jasarevic said, noting that countries are asked to provide public health justification for any travel or trade measures that are not scientifically based, such as the refusal of entry based on suspect cases or unaffected persons to affected areas.

Yang Gonghuan, former director of tobacco control at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Global Times that WHO would depend on the situation of the epidemic rather than targeting a specific place or for political purposes.

In response to concerns that a PHEIC would “hold China’s breath,” Yang said such thinking is “incorrect and unreasonable.”

“WHO’s decision and measures are based on the perspective of global disease prevention,” Yang said.

However, the PHEIC label could frighten contracting countries to the point that they could disobey WHO recommendations and impose more stringent limits on travel and trade with the country where the virus originated, which would create significant economic losses.

During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, WHO stressed the virus could not spread through pork products and yet over 40 countries banned pork imports from H1N1-affected nations, according to media reports.

Contracting states have agreed to follow WHO guidelines, and they should act within the forum of the organization, Yang noted.

Source link

RELATED ARTICLES:

Chinese premier urges vaccine, medicine development against epidemic

Li called for joint research efforts of multidisciplinary experts to expedite the development of easy testing kits, vaccines and effective drugs to fight the novel coronavirus.

China’s top university developing novel coronavirus vaccine

Researchers from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University are stepping up vaccine development targeting the novel coronavirus, which has already caused 7,711 confirmed cases of pneumonia in China as of Thursday.

China to send civil airplanes to bring back overseas Chinese: MFA

Chinese government decides to send charter flights to bring overseas Chinese citizens from Hubei Province, especially Wuhan City, directly back to Wuhan as soon as possible: MFA

China reports 9,692 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia, 213 deaths

China announced 9,692 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia and 213 deaths.

China’s Hubei reports 1,220 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China’s non-manufacturing sector came in at 54.1 in January, up from 53.5 in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.

China “confident in, capable of” containing, defeating epidemic: NHC

China is confident in and capable of effectively containing the novel coronavirus epidemic, and eventually defeating it, the National Health Commission said in a statement Friday.

China has full confidence, capability to control epidemic: FM

“We have full confidence and capability to win this fight against the epidemic,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Hubei official removed for negligence on epidemic treatment capabilities

The health commission head for Huanggang, the second most affected coronavirus city in Hubei Province, the epicenter for the virus, was released Thursday due to a lack of knowledge on the city’s disease treatment capabilities and resources.

Virus inflection point could emerge in one month: expert

With measures taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, an inflection point is likely to appear within the next one or two incubation periods, according to one expert on Thursday.

China remains confident in the fight against the coronavirus: official

China appreciates the efforts of other countries in helping to combat the novel coronavirus and is confident it will win the battle, a spokesperson from the National Health Commission (NHC) said at a press conference on Thursday.

Xi voices full confidence in winning battle against novel coronavirus

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that China has full confidence and capability to win the battle against the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Epidemic turning point expected

The Chinese people have just experienced an unforgettable Spring Festival as the whole country has been forced to endure the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has resulted in more than 170 deaths and 8,152 confirmed cases in all of the Chinese mainland’s 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.

WHO chief thanks China for its commitment, openness in coronavirus battle

WHO chief said that WHO appreciates the seriousness with which China is taking the coronavirus outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated, including sharing data and genetic sequence of the virus

Australian media urged to apologize for discriminating against Chinese amid coronavirus outbreak

More than 46,000 people have signed a petition demanding the Australian media to apologize publicly for racism against the Chinese community after two media outlets carried headlines and highlighted characters on their front pages which labeled the novel coronavirus-related pneumonia as a “Chinese virus” and hyped sentiments that would require Chinese children to stay at home.

US Tibet bill interference in China’s internal affairs

Experts on Wednesday slammed the Tibetan bill that was passed by the US House on Tuesday, which proposes sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, calling the bill a gross interference in China’s internal affairs under the disguise of religious freedom which will not have any substantial influence on China.

Related posts:

Coronavirus 2020 Outbreak: Latest Updates webmd.com Live: Press conference on the novel coronavirus outbreak国家卫健委通报疫情和防控工作最新进展   ..

 

Fight the virus https://youtu.be/CSeBqhD758E https://youtu.be/SVwjz8Mmfpk

WHO chief: China deserves gratitude and respect for ..tbreak, against virus-related evacuations, as countries plan pull-outs Fight the virus https://youtu.be/CSeBqhD758E https://youtu.be/SVwjz8Mmfpk WHO chief: China deserves gratitude and respect for ..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: