Countries should be ready and prepared for the coronavirus to be “literally knocking at the door”, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned about the fast spreading deadly virus that originated in China.
This warning from the global health body was issued even as concerns about the intensification of the outbreak of the virus as the deadly flu-like virus is has now infected people in more than two dozen countries across the world over the recent weeks.
There were some countries that had so-called “pandemic plans” on standby with the aim of preventing an outbreak of the virus, said WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier while speaking in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday. But Lindmeier said that the WHO was not planning a “big announcement” even though a number of such countries were also ready ot take action and implement the plans depending on their situation.
China’s fast-spreading coronavirus was declared as a global health emergency last month by the WHO.
The comments made by Lindmeier apparently seem to confirm assumptions that the United Nations health agency will not declare the coronavirus as a pandemic in the near future.
The coronavirus, which has is now officially known as COVID-19, has so far killed 2,663 people in China while there have been 77,658 confirmed cases across the country as of Tuesday, said China’s National Health Commission.
In recent days, an increase in the reported cases of coronavirus infection has been rising in South Korea, Italy and Iran even as many other countries imposed travel restrictions for people to virus-hit areas globally.
Officials meeting in Rome to discuss measures implemented in Italy had been “pretty strong”, said The WHO’s Lindmeier.
Lindmeier said that there has been postponement in a WHO mission to Iran and no new date has been fixed yet. The mission was initially scheduled to arrive in the Islamic Republic on Tuesday.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)