Coronavirus: WHO calls emergency meet, N Korea seals border with China

The coronavirus, which has crossed the species barrier to affect animals too, has claimed three lives in China and afflicted 220 others

Concerned over the outbreak and epidemic of coronavirus in China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called an emergency meeting in Geneva today to discuss the outbreak. In this meeting, an International Health Emergency could be declared.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang confirmed on Monday that Chinese officials would attend the emergency meeting of the International Health Regulation (IHR) called by the WHO in Geneva. China has confirmed that six people have died so far and more than 300 people have been infected with the virus.

Geng said that experts from the countries where the virus had been reported would attend the meeting too. “I will share information on this epidemic and also suggest scientific solutions,” he said, adding that China had shared information with the WHO as well as Hong Kong and Macau, as well as countries that are special administrative regions of China, already.

During the outbreak of Ebola and swine flu in the past, the WHO had declared an emergency that required an international effort.

The coronavirus is spreading from China to other countries of Asia. So far, three cases of the virus have been reported in Japan and Thailand and one in South Korea. In Australia also, a person who returned from China is under intense investigation.

Many countries all over the world have issued an alert to people travelling to China. India has issued a similar alert.

In China alone, there have been around 220 cases so far, while three people have died due to this virus.

India has issued a warning about travellers arriving from China as well. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has ordered to start thermal screening of passengers arriving from China at seven airports in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday. Many other countries have already started screening travellers arriving from China, especially those arriving from Wuhan.

The coronavirus has crossed the species barrier and affected animals like camels, cats and bats. Coronavirus patients usually have early symptoms such as cold, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, fever. These symptoms then change to pneumonia and damage the kidneys.

So far, no vaccine has been made to get rid of this virus. According to the WHO, coronavirus is associated with seafood.

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