213 dead: WHO declares coronavirus a global public emergency 

The coronavirus outbreak, which started in China, has now officially been declared a global public health emergency after more than 213 deaths in the last week.


Health professionals made the announcement on Thursday evening following a meeting of the WHO emergency committee in Geneva, Switzerland.


China has confirmed infections are 9,096. Possible infections are at 12,167 inside China, with 163 recoveries listed.

Chinese health authorities also said there were a total of 7,736 confirmed cases - and every region of the country has been affected.


There have also been 98 confirmed infections in 18 other countries, according to the WHO.

Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, said the outbreak of the previously unknown pathogen has ‘escalated’ in an ‘unprecedented’ fashion.


Adhanom said: ‘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.


"Let me be clear. This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak."


Mr Adhanom said that the ‘extraordinary’ efforts made by China to contain the outbreak, including constructing two hospitals in just days, has greatly limited the impact outside the country.


As of Thursday, 161 people in the UK have been tested negative for the virus.


It has been reported that Britons being flown back to the UK from Wuhan will be quarantined for two weeks in military bases, to rule out all possibilities that any individual, or family has caught the virus.


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