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Coronavirus: WHO advises countries to prepare for detection as death toll hits 56

World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised Member States to be ready for timely detection and management of any outbreak, especially coronavirus, as the death toll in China hit 56.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  Coronavirus: WHO advises countries to prepare for detection as death toll hits 56 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Photo credit: AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI / Getty Images

China has confirmed 1,975 cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus while the death toll from the virus has risen to 56.

The WHO said on its tweeter handle – @WHO – that the situation had not changed in China, at the regional and global level.

“WHO’s risk assessment of the new coronavirus has not change.

“The risk of spreading the infection is very high in China, it is high at the regional level and it is moderate at the global level.’’

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The UN health agency said the evolving outbreak that began in China is “a sign that every country needs to be ready to timely detect and manage outbreaks of any type.’’

WHO’s Regional Office for Europe had officially been notified of the first novel #coronavirus cases in Europe.

Three cases have been confirmed in France and WHO is in contact with the relevant authorities.

All of them had travelled from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, and are now hospitalised in France.

WHO, however, commended France for quickly notifying the agency and rapidly issuing a public communication, saying “that it not only exemplified the proper steps forward, but also illustrated “an example of global collaboration and solidarity.”

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WHO maintained that the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Europe were not unexpected.

“They remind us that the global nature of travels exempts no country from infectious disease spread.

“This also means that no country can afford postponing the establishment of all necessary measures to protect their people,” it stated.

The virus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei in 2019 and has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

It has also spread to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada.

By Cecilia Ologunagba

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