The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee has just concluded its meeting in Genava, Switzerland, saying: “ The coronavirus in Wuhan, China is not an international health emergency. community (PHEIC).
“There is no mistake here. It is a state of emergency in China. However, it has yet to become a global medical emergency“, Said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General.
Members of the emergency committee have mixed opinions, but overall, they agreed that it was too early to consider the new corona virus in China as a PHEIC.
The new corona virus has not yet become an international emergency
According to WHO, PHEIC is only declared when there is a situation “weirdo“,” cThere is a public health risk to other countries from the spread of the disease, “which” requires a synchronized international response.“in preventing disease.
In the case of the new corona virus, the WHO emergency committee recognizes that there are still too few cases of patients infected outside of China, and the Chinese authorities have also taken the necessary steps to prevent the virus from spreading. outside the borders of my country.
However, Dr. Tedros also emphasized that he could re-establish a new emergency committee when the situation changed. “It could be another day, a few more days, or it could be anytime“he said.
“I want to reiterate the fact that I did not declare PHEIC today, but that should not be taken as an indication that the WHO does not think the current situation is serious enough, or that we have worked. serious. Nothing could be better than the truth. WHO is watching this outbreak every minute of every day. “
The notice came just a day after the first committee meeting, after which the WHO said it was Need more information to reach consensus about whether or not to declare PHEIC.
The appointment of PHEIC will allow Dr. Tedros, as WHO Director-General, to call on countries not to close borders or restrict trade. The reason is that cutting off tourism and trade with a country that is dealing with an epidemic is unlikely to stop the disease. On the contrary, it may cause countries to hide information and not be transparent about the situation.
Regulations on PHEIC were developed after the outbreak of the SARS outbreak in 2003 and adopted by 194 countries in 2005. Since then, only 5 times WHO has declared PHEIC for pandemics: H1N1 swine flu in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014, Zika in 2015 and an outbreak of Ebola in 2019.
In 2013, WHO also established an emergency committee to assess whether MERS virus should be declared a PHEIC. But eventually after many sessions, they concluded that the disease is not a global health emergency.
Most people infected with the virus have only mild symptoms, those who have died of a chronic disease before
Back to the new corona virus, until the time of the meeting, Dr. Tedros There were 584 reported cases of viral infections reported to WHO, of which 17 were fatal. These figures are lower than 630 previously reported cases of infection and 18 deaths.
575 new corona virus infections and all deaths have been reported in China. Other cases have been reported in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
Dr. Tedros said the new corona virus could be fatal. However, for most people it only shows milder symptoms.
“We know that a quarter of those infected are patients with other serious illnesses“he said.”“Most of the patients who die have pre-existing underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease that weaken their immune systems.”
In addition, Dr. Tedros also said that corona virus can be transmitted from person to person in China, but now it is limited to family members and health care workers who care for patients.
“At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China“he said.”But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen“.
The city blockade is not effective in preventing the virus from spreading
In China, to cope with the new epidemic, they have made extremely strict quarantine moves, evaluated as unprecedented. In Wuhan, an 11-million-city city where the disease broke out, all activities going in and out of the city were blocked.
People are required to wear masks in the city, which is a mandatory requirement.
Nearby with Wuhan, Huangjiang City with 7 million people and Wuzhou City with 1 million people were also blockaded. All three cities are in Hubei province.
Experts have questioned whether such a move really helps or not. Blocking cities can limit the availability of medical aid to the inner epidemic zone. The decision could also distrust the government’s efforts to help prevent the outbreak of the disease, and cause public panic.
Not yet, the travel ban in Wuhan, which was officially issued on Thursday morning, January 23, still allowed people infected with the virus to leave the city.
“There is a basic question about effectiveness here“, Dr. Alexandra Phelan from the Center for Global Health Sciences and Security, Georgetown University.” CBulk yoke is often considered an ineffective measure. ”
Asked whether WHO supports these quarantine measures, Dr. Tedros said that China, as a country, has sovereignty to take the steps it wants in its efforts to control the disease. Translate.
Refer Statnew, Theguardian