WHO Urges Countries to Mount Surveillance against Coronavirus

  • Says virus now in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned all the countries of the world to be on high alert to be able to contain the spread of the new deadly novel Coronavirus first found in Wuhan city of China.

A health advisory issued by WHO yesterday night, at the end of the emergency meeting of the International Health Regulations Committee, said countries should be prepared for the containment of the virus disease including ensuring active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management.

The world body said the virus had spread to Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Singapore

WHO said: “It is expected that further international exportation of cases may appear in any country. 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.

It said that countries are required to share information with WHO, according to the international health regulations.

The world health body said it is ready to assist countries with technical advice to help contain the epidemic.

WHO Health Advisory also urged countries to place particular emphasis on reducing human infection, prevention of secondary transmission and international spread and “also to contribute to the international response through multi-sectoral communication and collaboration and active participation in increasing knowledge on the virus and the disease, as well as advancing research”.

While giving update on the Coronavirus outbreak reported early this month in the Chinese city of Wuhan, WHO said the Chinese authorities presented a new epidemiological information to committee that revealed an increase in the number of cases, of suspected cases, of affected provinces, and the proportion of deaths in currently reported cases of four per cent (17 of 557).

It said that the information presented by the Chinese delegation showed the prevalence of fourth-generation cases in Wuhan and second-generation cases outside Wuhan, as well as some clusters outside Hubei province.

WHO said that China has assured that they are putting up strong containment measures, including closure of public-transportation systems in Wuhan City, as well as other nearby cities.

It further said that the committee was informed about the evolution of the virus in Japan, Republic of Korea, and Thailand, adding that one new possible case had been identified in Singapore.

The world body noted that 25 per cent of the confirmed cases are reported to be severe.

It said that at moment the source of the coronavirus is still unknown but that it is most likely an animal reservoir.