Due to the current novel coronavirus epidemic on Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency. The coronavirus has so far emerged in 21 countries, infecting more than 8,100 people, mostly in China. About 170 people died from the infection. The current epidemic has offset the one caused by the SARS virus 17 years ago.
After Thursday’s crisis committee meeting, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that the declaration of a state of emergency was not an expression of distrust of China, but praised its efforts. He also called for support for countries with weaker health systems. WHO has declared a state of emergency for the sixth time in its history.
The new type of coronavirus has spread to all regions and provinces of China since Thursday. This was stated by the Chinese authorities after the infection was recorded in Tibet.
The virus has spread to 21 countries
Apart from China, whose 11 million cities are in Wuhan, Hubei Province, the virus began to spread late last year, infections were reported in about 100 people in 21 countries, in some cases in those with no clear connection to Wuhan. .
The first was infected late Thursday as the fourth European country reported by Italy had previously confirmed cases in France, Germany and Finland. Currently, the second most populous countries in the world, India and the Philippines, are also experiencing the disease. The virus has not been confirmed in the Czech Republic.
The presence of the new coronavirus has not been confirmed aboard a yacht moored with thousands of people in the port of the Italian city of Civitavecchia, north of Rome. Two Chinese passengers were suspected and therefore the Italian authorities banned disembarkation for fear of the possible spread of the disease.
In response to the WTO decision, the Czech Ministry of Health announced that a passenger information and screening campaign targeted for the coronavirus will be extended to all airports in the Czech Republic from Friday. To date, the measure only applies at the international airport in Prague’s Ruzyn.
Japan and some of the United States have evacuated their citizens from the epicenter of Wuhan, the epicenter of the quake. South Korea, Australia, France, Britain and Egypt intend to do so on Thursday or in the coming days. The European Union is also planning an evacuation with its citizens. Five Czechs are also interested in leaving, and Czech diplomacy is negotiating the possibility of sending them. Authorities plan that the refugees will remain in quarantine for some time after returning.
Czechs don’t issue visas, airlines restrict flights to China
Many countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, have stepped up measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. The Czech Republic has suspended the issuance of visas to Chinese nationals and is not accepting new visa applications in China. Following the confirmation of two patients, Italy announced it would cut off all flights with China. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday he was considering issuing a similar ban. Russia has announced that it will close its borders in the Far East from Friday. Car and train traffic will be affected.
Airlines are also restricting flights to China, in part due to a drop in demand for the service. British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia, SAS and Finnair have so far announced disruptions from European carriers. Some, such as Turkish Airlines and KLM, have so far only reduced the frequency of flights.
Several multinational companies are also taking action against the spread of the virus. For example, Swedish furniture chain IKEA has announced that it has temporarily closed all of its stores in China. German car company Volkswagen has decided to extend its vacation at Chinese factories, which it operates through a joint venture with a local carmaker.
The steps also affect exercise. Among other things, the Olympic qualifying tournaments for basketball and soccer players were moved from China, and the World Indoor Athletics Championships, due to take place in March in Nanjing, were postponed to next year. The China Football Association announced on Thursday that it was postponing local football matches at all levels.
The victims of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, which causes flu-like illness and can sometimes cause pneumonia, are currently only in China and are mostly the elderly or previously debilitated people.
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