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Coronavirus: WHO puts Nigeria, others on alert as death toll hits 56

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WHO, Coronavirus

Luminous Jannamike – Abuja

As the death toll from the coronavirus hits 56 globally, World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday warned Nigeria and other member countries to be ready to deal with a possible outbreak of the disease in their territories.

In a statement on Sunday, the WHO spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, said nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed since the disease originated in China last month.

He noted that the virus had spread to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France, and Canada; and called for timely detection and management of any outbreak, especially in Africa.

Jasarevic said: “WHO’s risk assessment of the new coronavirus has not changed.

“The risk of spreading the infection is very high in China. It is high at the regional level and it is moderate at the global level.

“It is, however, expected that further international exportation of cases may appear in any country, especially in Sub-saharan Africa.

“Thus, all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of the onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection, and to share full data with the WHO.”

The United Nations agency maintained that the first confirmed cases of the disease in Europe were not unexpected.

“They remind us that the global nature of travels exempts no country from infectious disease spread.

“This also means that no country can afford to postpone the establishment of all necessary measures to protect their people,” it stated.

WHO added that members of its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee have agreed on the urgency of the situation and would reconvene in a matter of days to examine the situation further.






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