Coronavirus outbreak in China, world on alert  

The World is on alert as Corona virus has claimed six lives and infected nearly 300 people so far in China

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NH Web Desk

World is on alert as Corona virus has claimed six lives and infected nearly 300 people so far in China.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has convened an emergency meeting in Geneva to discuss the outbreak of 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

At the meeting, the WHO will consider whether it should declare an international public health emergency over the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

Corona virus is a newly identified respiratory virus that causes pneumonia, it was recently discovered in China. It spreads from animals to humans.

In past, such emergencies have been declared during outbreaks of Ebola and swine flu, among other illnesses, which necessitated a concerted international effort.

Such a declaration, if made, will be seen as an urgent call for a coordinated international response to fears that the outbreak could spread.

Millions of Chinese begin travelling home and abroad for the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays starting from January 24.

China's National Health Commission is also expected to release details of total cases reported so far and the number of deaths.

The statement will provide an idea of the extent to which the viral infection has spread so far.

The outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan where 258 cases have been reported so far. Two cases have been reported in Thailand and one each in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan

China's top leaders have warned health officials against any cover up of the information on the outbreak.

India has already issued a travel warning, Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tuesday ordered seven airports, including those in Delhi and Mumbai, to start thermal screening of passengers arriving from China.

Several other countries have already started screening travellers coming from China, especially from Wuhan, to detect symptoms like fever.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang confirmed on Monday that Chinese officials would be attending the emergency meeting of the International Health Regulation (IHR) called by the WHO in Geneva.

Experts from countries from where the virus is reported would also attend the meeting and share the information on the epidemic and come up with scientific solution, he said.

China's National Health Commission on Monday confirmed for the first time that the infection could be transmitted from human-to-human.

In a separate statement, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said at least 15 medical workers in Wuhan have also been infected with the virus, with one in a critical condition.

The workers presumably became infected with the virus due to the contact with patients. All of them are being kept in isolation while being treated.

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