Originating in the city of Wuhan earlier this month, coronavirus has now spread to more than 18 countries outside of China. Concerns have now been raised that the virus could spread to countries with weaker health systems in place.
More than 7,800 people globally have now been infected with coronavirus.
Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus did not yet constitute an emergency declaration.
However on Thursday (January 30), the WHO revised its decision following increased evidence of person-to-person transmission in cases outside of China.
The WHO has now declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference: “The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries.
“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it.”
A Public Health Emergency is used when “an extraordinary event which is determined … to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease”.
In the past, Public Health Emergency status has been issued for Swine flu, Zika and Ebola, among others.
The UK has not had any confirmed cases of coronavirus presently.
Some 200 Britons who were trapped in the city of Wuhan will be quarantined at a UK military base for the next 14 days once they have left China.
More than 100 people have been tested in the UK for the virus.
However all results have come back negative.
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Which countries have confirmed cases of coronavirus?
A live map from John Hopkins University in the US is mapping confirmed cases of coronavirus, which you can view HERE.
The map uses data from the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control.
Prof Lauren Gardner, who helped to create the map, said: “We built this dashboard because we think it is important for the public to have an understanding of the outbreak situation as it unfolds with transparent data sources.”
Presently, the countries with confirmed cases include:
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United States
- United Arab Emirates
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