Coronavirus outbreak now not pandemic

Elias Hubbard
February 5, 2020

Beijing says the island is a wayward Chinese province and is adequately represented in the organisation by China.

Hong Kong was badly hit by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), another coronavirus that emerged from China in 2002 to kill nearly 800 people worldwide and cost the global economy an estimated $33bn. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly denounced the organization's decision to exclude one of the most prosperous nations in Asia, particularly in light of a situation the WHO itself has branded a public health emergency of worldwide concern.

But speaking in Taipei, Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said Taiwan has received very limited information and has been unable to get it quickly.

"In these other places in China, the strategy now is to stop transmission", she said, adding that the same was true for affected countries outside of China.

The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday said that there would not be any charter flights evacuating Taiwanese from China's Wuhan either yesterday or today, while it also confirmed that some of the evacuees on the first charter flight from Wuhan on Monday night were not Taiwanese, but Chinese spouses of Taiwanese.

"Disease has no national boundaries", Ou added. "Putting political considerations over people's health and safety, this, basically, is extremely vile". "We are at the phase where it's an epidemic with multiple foci and we will try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci".

The death toll in China from the newly identified virus, which emerged in Wuhan, capital of the central province of Hubei, rose to 361 as of Sunday, the National Health Commission said. The deluge of misinformation on social media - from a recommendation to eat more onions to a warning of spread via a video game - has led Asian governments to hit back with arrests, fines and fake news laws, alarming free speech advocates. "Our confirmed cases are only 10".

Tedros said US$60 million of the funds would be for World Health Organization operations while the remainder would go to countries requiring assistance to guard against the deadly virus. US citizens who have recently traveled to other parts of China will face health screenings and voluntary quarantines of up to 14 days.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement on Tuesday that 247 people had arrived at Taipei's main global airport late on Monday.

President Tsai on Monday made another public plea for global organizations to take into consideration that insufficient cooperation with Taipei to contain the viral outbreak could prove fatal for many potentially exposed and that Taiwan can help end the outbreak faster.

It explained that the virus was now considered to be an epidemic with multiple locations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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