As death toll due to coronavirus climbs to a shocking 213, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declares it a global emergency. By Tanvi Jain
As China reported a shocking rise in the number of deaths due to coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the deadly virus a global health emergency. So far, the country has witnessed at least 213 cases of death and nearly 10,000 cases of infection by the virus.
The Geneva-based UN health agency reportedly appealed the world to act together to limit further spread of coronavirus.
As many countries have urged its citizens to not visit China, some have also restricted entry of travellers from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. Some of the airlines have even cancelled flights to and from China. While Israel has barred all flights from China, Russia has also shut its far eastern border with China. Over 6,000 tourists were put under lockdown on a cruise at the Italian Port after two Chinese tourists were isolated over the fear of the virus. They were later tested negative.
Beijing has also taken extreme steps, by restricting the movement of over 50 million people in Wuhan and Hubei province.
India reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus, after a student was diagnosed in Thrissur district of Kerala.
Moreover, the United States has recently reported its first case of a person-to-person transfer of the virus on American soil, where a 60-year-old Chicago based man caught the virus from his wife, who had travelled to Wuhan.
Japan and the US have become the first countries to airlift their citizens from Wuhan. Britain, France, and Australia have also taken similar steps for the safety of their citizens.
Coronavirus is considered similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that began in China in 2002-03 and killed around 800 people around the globe.
A study published in The Lancet journal suggests that while bats may be the original hosts, the coronavirus could either be spreading from an animal sold at a seafood market in Wuhan. However, an analysis from 10 gene sequences of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from nine patients in Wuhan, says that the virus is related to two bat-derived severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) like coronaviruses.
It was also noticed that while eight patients had reportedly visited Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market, one had stayed in a hotel nearby.