By ZBC Reporter
BOTSWANA has registered its first-ever suspected case of CORONAVIRUS. The suspected case was registered at Sir Seretse Khama International airport upon arrival using Ethiopian Airways from China. The suspected case becomes the first in the region since the outbreak in China which has killed over 200 people.
CORONAVIRUS has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.
“The main reason is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, making the announcement at a press conference in Geneva.
The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems. At least 213 people have died from the virus in China.
The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths. Most cases have emerged in people who have travelled from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began.
However, there have been eight cases of human-to-human infection – in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr Tedros described the virus as an “unprecedented outbreak” that has been met with an “unprecedented response”.
Coronavirus outbreak According to WHO Data based on the first 425 cases confirmed in Wuhan. The average age of those infected is 59, 89% were not hospitalised until at least five days of illness, 56% of the cases were men, 55% of cases diagnosed before 1 January were linked to seafood market according to The New England Journal of Medicine.
The WHO declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern when there is “an extraordinary event which is determined… to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease”.
The WHO has previously declared five global public health emergencies. The Swine flu, in 2009 – The H1N1 virus spread across the world in 2009, killing more than 200,000 people, and a public health emergency was called to ensure the world was carefully monitoring its spread and able to respond, including with vaccines.
Polio, in 2014 – Although closer than ever to eradication in 2012, polio numbers rose in 2013. An emergency was declared due to fears the global fight against its eradication could face a major setback.
Zika, 2016 – The WHO declared Zika a public health emergency in 2016 after the disease spread rapidly through the Americas. Although for many Zika symptoms are mild, it can be dangerous for pregnant women and the emergency was called to spur urgent research.
Ebola, 2014 and 2019 – The first emergency over the virus lasted from August 2014 to March 2016 as almost 30,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died in West Africa. The WHO cited “the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems” in affected countries. A second emergency was declared last year as an outbreak spread in DR Congo.
By ZBC Reporter