WHO Declares International Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak

Announcement comes hours after first human-to-human transmission of virus was confirmed in America

Image Credits: FABRICE COFFRINI / Contributor / Getty.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared a global health emergency due to the fast-spreading Coronavirus that has sparked pandemic concerns across the world.

The rare designation is intended to mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak of 2019nCoV, or the Wuhan Coronavirus.

“Over the past few weeks we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen that has [resulted in] an unprecedented outbreak,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a Thursday press conference at the organization’s Geneva headquarters. “We must act together now to limit the spread.”

“For all of these reasons, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of 2019nCoV.”

Tedros stressed the international body was not recommending restrictions of trade or travel with China, where the virus originated.

He also praised the communist country’s capacity to “control the outbreak.”

“Let me be clear: this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” said Tedros. “On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.”

The announcement comes hours after the first human-to-human transmission of the virus was confirmed in America.

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