Nigeria: Coronavirus - Risk of Spread Very High - WHO

Airport workers wear face masks at China's Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport.
27 January 2020

... Says no positive change in situation globally

As death toll from the new coronavirus hits 56 globally, World Health Organisation, WHO, has warned Nigeria and other member countries to be ready to deal with possible outbreak of the disease in their territories.

In a statement on Sunday, Tarik Jasarevic, WHO's spokesman, said nearly 2,000 cases of patients have been confirmed since the disease originated in China last month.

He noted that the virus had spread to the US, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada; and called for timely detection and management of any outbreak, especially in the Africa region.

"WHO's risk assessment of the new coronavirus has not changed. The risk of spreading the infection is very high in China, it is high at the regional level and it is moderate at the global level.

"It is, however, expected that further international exportation of cases may appear in any country, especially in sub-saharan Africa.

"Thus, all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection, and to share full data with WHO."

WHO maintained that the first confirmed cases of the disease in Europe were not unexpected.

"They remind us that the global nature of travels exempts no country from infectious disease spread.

"This also means that no country can afford postponing the establishment of all necessary measures to protect their people," it stated.

WHO added that members of its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee have agreed on the urgency of the situation, and suggested that it would reconvene in a matter of days to examine the situation further.

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