Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-WHO says no longer uses "pandemic" category, but virus still emergency

Reuters | Geneva | Updated: 24-02-2020 14:04 IST | Created: 24-02-2020 13:52 IST
UPDATE 1-WHO says no longer uses "pandemic" category, but virus still emergency
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

The World Health Organization (WHO) no longer has a process for declaring a pandemic, but the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak remains an international emergency, a spokesman said on Monday.

Fears of a coronavirus pandemic grew on Monday after sharp rises in new cases reported in Iran, Italy and South Korea, although China relaxed restrictions on movement in several places including Beijing as its rates of new infections eased. The Geneva-based agency declared the H1N1 swine flu outbreak a pandemic in 2009, which turned out to be mild, leading to some criticism after pharmaceutical companies rushed the development of vaccines and drugs.

WHO declared the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in December a public health emergency of international concern, known as a PHEIC, on Jan. 30. It was aimed at helping countries with weaker health systems shore up their defenses. Since then the virus has spread, with more than 77,000 known infections in China, including 2,445 deaths, and 1,769 cases and 17 deaths in 28 other countries, the latest WHO figures show. South Korea, Japan and Italy are experiencing large outbreaks.

"There is no official category (for a pandemic)," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. "WHO does not use the old phasing system that some people may be familiar with from 2009. Under the IHR (International Health Regulations), WHO has declared a public health emergency of international concern."

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told reporters on Friday: "I would like to assure you we are following this virus 24/7 round the clock ...As we speak our situation is that we are still in a phase where containment is possible with a narrowing window of opportunity."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Maritime transport post-COVID 19: Disruptions ahead in business models, techno-investments, regulations

Cargo shipping is a crucial part of the global supply chains and is likely to become more resilient along with efforts to make supply chains resilient but cruise liners could face much more disruptive changes....

Asia-Pacific response to COVID-19 and climate emergency must build a resilient and sustainable future

... ...

Videos

Latest News

UK defends coronavirus response after Reuters investigation

The British government defended its early handling of the coronavirus epidemic after a Reuters investigation found its scientific advisers were too slow to communicate their growing concerns about the outbreak to the public and ministers. P...

Amid lockdown, DHFL promoters, 21 others found at farmhouse

DHFL promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan were detained at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtras Satara district on Thursday for violating prohibitory orders amid lockdown, police said. Police found 23 people including members of the Wadhawan fam...

Delhi HC recognises HPC decision on bail order for undertrials

Acting on orders of the Supreme Court regarding decongestion of prisoners in view of COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi High Court on Thursday gave a green signal to the High Power Committee HPC decision and also modified bail orders of under-tri...

Telangana's positive COVID-19 count at 471

As many as 471 coronavirus positive cases have been reported in Telangana so far. And out of these positive cases, 388 cases are related to the Markaz event in Delhi, said Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajendra on Thursday.As many as 665...

Give Feedback