World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the global coronavirus outbreak a “public health emergency of global concern” during a a meeting of the International Health Committee Thursday.
“We have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak,” Ghebreyesus said.
Ghebreyesus repeatedly praised the Chinese government for their handling of the virus outbreak, referencing what he called “extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak.”
China has come under scrutiny for their handling of the emergency, with some pundits saying the lack of pre-existing infrastructure for containing the virus and housing patients reflects poorly on the CCP regime.
“So far we have not seen any deaths outside China, for which we must all be grateful,” Ghebreysus said. ” Although these numbers are still relatively small compared to the number of cases in China, we must all act together now to limit further spread.”
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The Director General continued, “The vast majority of cases outside China have a travel history to Wuhan, or contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan. We don’t know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were to spread in a country with a weaker health system.”
“For all of these reasons, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus,” Ghebreysus concluded.
Despite the emergency declaration, Ghebreysus claimed there was “no reason” to implement limitations on international travel and trade.
The appearance of coronavirus in countries other than trade has been linked solely to international travel thus far.