WHO Declares Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Constitutes Global Emergency, Calls For International Cooperation, ‘Facts, Not Fear’

ABC News: Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO after 1st person-to-person U.S. case reported
“The World Health Organization declared coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern at a news conference Thursday in Geneva. This is only the sixth time such an emergency has been declared, with past examples including the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Zika virus…” (Schumaker, 1/30).

Al Jazeera: WHO calls for science and solidarity over coronavirus
“…An ‘unprecedented outbreak’ had been met with an ‘unprecedented response,’ said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, following a crisis meeting in the Swiss city of Geneva on Thursday. … ‘This is the time for facts, not fear,’ he said. ‘This is the time for science, not rumors. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma’…” (1/30).

Devex: Declaring coronavirus emergency alone is not enough, experts say
“…[M]uch more needs to be done to coordinate responses internationally and strengthen China’s public health response. WHO needs to launch a global action plan to get the outbreak under control, Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and director at the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, told Devex. Apart from the rapid development of a vaccine, the plan should also include actions that will allow for a surge in public health response in China, particularly Hubei province, the center of the epidemic, he said…” (Ravelo, 1/31).

Reuters: WHO says countries should keep borders open, trade & people moving despite coronavirus
“Borders should be kept open and people and trade flowing in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, although countries have a sovereign right to take measures to try to protect their citizens, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The WHO, which declared the accelerating outbreak a global emergency on Thursday, voiced fresh concern that the virus could spread undetected in a country with a weak health system…” (Nebehay, 1/31).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Is Declared a Global Health Emergency as Threat Rises Outside China
“…Public-health authorities said the WHO designation helps mobilize resources to contain the virus’s spread. The WHO’s director-general can make recommendations to the international community, though they aren’t legally binding. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was confident in China’s capacity to control the outbreak, which has sickened more than 9,500 people and killed 213 — up from 170 a day earlier — mostly in China’s Hubei province, which surrounds Wuhan. ‘Let me be clear. This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,’ Dr. Tedros said. ‘I have never in my life seen this kind of mobilization’…” (Abbott et al., 1/30).

Additional coverage of the WHO’s declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) is available from AP, BBC, Breitbart, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News, New Humanitarian, PBS NewsHour, Quartz, Reuters, Science Speaks, STAT, TIME, Vox, and U.N. News.

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