A new form of coronavirus has grappled China and has infected more than 800 people at the time of writing this article, with the number expected to go up severely, even exponentially. While the World Health Organization has refused to consider it as an emergency, they have however kept a close eye and has even sent aid in the form of manpower. However, that equation may change sooner or later.
China’s National Health Commission has reported 830 cases so far with the death toll rising to 25, as of Thursday. While most of the cases are contained in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan, it is now deemed as the birthplace of the new pandemic virus, with non-fatal cases being reported all around the world.
Health officials in China are concerned that the transmission rate could accelerate severely as hundreds of millions of Chinese will travel at home and aboard during the week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, beginning Saturday. Wuhan has been officially put down in a lockdown with China planning to build a makeshift hospital within 6 days to treat the infected at one place, lessening the spread of the epidemic.
“Make no mistake, though, this is an emergency in China,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” he said.
The lockdown procedures initiated by the Chinese officials have not met well with the WHO officials as they commented “The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in the history of public health,” said Gauden Galea, WHO’s representative in Beijing. The organization further limits their words by quoting that it does not recommend any further travel bans, neither on travel nor trade.
Currently, there are no vaccinations that can counter the virus strain which can spread through respiratory transmissions and can be detected by heightened fever, difficulty in breathing and coughing.