World Health Organization has declared the new SARS-like pneumonia a global emergency. It is a decision driven by the fast spread of the virus worldwide and the increasing number of deaths. Only one month old, the coronavirus has already killed 213 people and infected 9,692. Those are the official numbers in China, and they rise by the hour. In the last two days, the numbers have exploded: 81 deaths and 1981 infected people from the total numbers.
The animal originated virus has a period of incubation of one to fourteen days. A new reason to panic is the belief that it can spread during the incubation period. This means it can possibly be caught before an infected person is showing symptoms.
What is a global emergency?
A global emergency is an extraordinary event that threatens to affect the safety of other countries. The threat constitutes a reason for a temporary international coalition to respond. In the case of an epidemic, decisions need to be made to control the spread of the disease, and joined efforts to find a cure, if there is none. And there is no cure for the new coronavirus. People either cure by themselves, with the help of their immune system or die.
The decision made by WHO was not due to the deaths, as they only happened in China, said the president of WHO. The reason was the disease spreading all around the world: 12 countries have reported cases of infected people. Also, the US reports its first case of person-to-person transmission in the country.
American citizens were advised not to travel to China. Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic stopped their flights to mainland China. European countries are evacuating about 350 European citizens with a plane that took off from a former Portuguese military airport southeast of Lisbon. England evacuated 83 British citizens with a chartered flight. 368 South Koreans from Wuhan arrived home and were quarantined. The Russian Prime Minister has issued a decree ordering the temporary closure of the border with China, which extends for 2,600 miles (4,200km).