WHO Committee Meeting Again To Consider Emergency Declaration For Novel Coronavirus Outbreak; WHO Officials Praise China’s Response

CIDRAP News: WHO experts to again weigh nCoV emergency status as more nations affected
“The World Health Organization (WHO) announced [Wednesday] that its novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emergency committee will meet again [today] to assess if outbreak developments warrant a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), as China reported more than 1,400 new cases, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Finland report their first cases…” (Schnirring, 1/29).

Reuters: Human spread of virus in three countries outside China worrying: WHO chief
“The person-to-person spread of the new coronavirus in three countries — Germany, Vietnam and Japan — is worrying and will be considered by experts reconvened to consider declaring a global emergency, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday…” (Nebehay, 1/29).

STAT: WHO praises China’s response to coronavirus, will reconvene expert committee to assess global threat
“…WHO officials pointed to the still relatively small number of cases outside of China as a hopeful sign that the outbreak could be contained and transmission stopped. ‘We must commit to doing that together,” [Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program,] said. Ryan and [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] both lauded China’s efforts to control the virus’ spread, with Ryan saying they had ‘never seen the scale, the commitment of an epidemic response at this level’ and that China was ‘taking extraordinary measures in the face of what’s an extraordinary challenge’…” (Joseph/Thielking, 1/29).

Additional coverage of the WHO emergency committee meeting, the international spread of coronavirus, and China’s response is available from Bloomberg (2), DW, The Guardian, The Hill, New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Reuters (2), Science Speaks, VOA News, and Washington Post.

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