The Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will be reconvened by the World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today. The meeting is planned to start at 13:30 Geneva time.
The virus, named 2019-nCoV, originated
in the Chinese city of Wuhan, apparently from wild animals sold
at a market, with cases identified on 31 December 2019. A week later, on
January 7, Chinese healthcare authorities confirmed that they had identified a
new virus that was part of the coronavirus family - a family that includes the
common cold, SARS and MERS.
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The virus has now spread to every region in mainland China. It has also appeared in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, the United States, France, Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Germany, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, India, Canada and the UAE.
The Committee will advise the Director-General on whether the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and what recommendations should be made to manage it.
WHO hasn't declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The emergency committee has met twice (on January 22, and January 23) and both times declined to declare the pandemic a PHEIC. WHO upgraded the risk assessment from ‘moderate’ to ‘high’.
According to data from the Johns Hopkins data visualisation (January 29, 2020 9pm EST), the number of cases has reached 7,783 with the majority on the Chinese mainland. The total number of deaths is 170 while recovers number 133.
Image credit: WHO