Beijing/IBNS: The outbreak of Coronavirus in China has now left 170 people dead in the country, triggering panic across the globe.
Chinese health authorities announced Thursday that 7,711 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Wednesday. A total of 170 people have died of the disease, reported Xinhua news agency.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that the coronavirus outbreak has now spread to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
WHO announced that four members of a family from Wuhan, who had travelled to the UAE earlier in January, were hospitalized on 25 and 27 January after testing positive for coronavirus. The virus has now spread to 15 countries: the cases in UAE mark the first time that a nation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region has been affected.
The Director-General of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, confirmed on Wednesday that 68 cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed outside of China. While this represents only one per cent of the total, the geographic spread is wide, with patients diagnosed in North America, Europe and Australia, as well as several countries in Southeast Asia.
At a press briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, Michael Ryan, the head of the WHO health emergencies programme, said that "the whole world needs to be on alert now. The whole world needs to take action and be ready for any cases that come from the epicentre or other epicentre that becomes established”.
The actions of the Chinese authorities have, he said, helped to slow the international spread of the virus, but it has not been halted: “The continued increase in cases and the evidence of human-to human transmission outside China are of course most deeply concerning. Although the numbers outside China are still relatively small, they hold the potential for a much larger outbreak”.
UN sends protective clothing to virus-hit China
Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, announced on Wednesday that it has shipped 6 metric tons of protective clothing for health workers battling the novel coronavirus in China.
“This coronavirus is spreading at a breakneck speed and it is important to put all the necessary resources into halting it,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “We may not know enough about the virus’s impact on children or how many may be affected – but we do know that close monitoring and prevention are key. Time is not on our side.”The UNICEF supplies of respiratory masks and protective suits have landed in Shanghai, and will be sent to the city of Wuhan, where most of the cases have been found. UNICEF is planning to send more items in the coming days and weeks.