WHO declares coronavirus a global health emergency

−With more than 8200 persons infected worldwide

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, January 30, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency as the numbers of infected persons continues to rise, particularly over the last few days.

The WHO said that the fast-spreading coronavirus has infected more than 8200 persons to date across the world.

This rare designation of a global health emergency will help the international agency mobilise financial and political support to contain the outbreak

WHO member states have been briefed and put on alert, intensifying border control and screening while health systems are prepped to deal with any eventualities.

There have been no reports coming out of the Ministry of Public Health indicating that the coronavirus is here.

On January 28, officials from the Public Health Ministry and the PAHO/WHO country office held a joint press conference where they informed local media operatives that Guyana has a low risk of having the virus introduced.

However, monitoring continues as local health authorities are on high alert and are prepared for any possible case of the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) entering these shores.

Public Health Minister Hon. Volda Lawrence said the ministry has adequate drugs in stock and if necessary, will utilise resources from its 2020 funds allocation. Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, said additional health officers and medics have been deployed in all health districts.

The Ministry will be briefing the nation through various channels on further updates about the control and prevention of this virus.

Meanwhile, persons are asked to adopt and practice safe hygiene while exploring the option of seeing a doctor for any severe flu-like symptoms.

WHO defines a global health emergency, also known as a “public health emergency of international concern,” as an “extraordinary event” that is “serious, unusual or unexpected.

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COVID-19 Alert!

Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.