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Coronavirus death toll in China reaches 213, WHO declares global emergency

Chinese authorities have confirmed 213 deaths in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak with as many as 9,692 confirmed cases. Hubei province has reported 5,806 confirmed cases, including 204 deaths, official media reported.

Beijing: Chinese authorities have confirmed 213 deaths due to the novel coronavirus outbreak with as many as 9,692 confirmed cases. Hubei province has reported 5,806 confirmed cases, including 204 deaths, official media reported.

Even though China has expressed full confidence and capability to successfully fight the epidemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.

The UN health agency hoped the declaration — a rarely used designation, could lead to combined co-ordination of the international community in tackling the disease.

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said as he announced the virus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in a press statement said, “Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese government has been taking the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures with a high sense of responsibility for people’s health,” adding, “We have full confidence and capability to win this fight against the epidemic,” said the spokesperson.

China will continue working with the international health agency and cooperate with other countries to safeguard regional and global public health security, Xinhua quoted Hua as saying.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, India reported its first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Kerala. The patient was a student at China’s Wuhan University. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured that the authorities were closely monitoring the situation and that there was no cause for panic.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday (January 28) confirmed that India has started the process to prepare for the evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising out of coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan City, which is located in Hubei Province of China.

The virus has been detected in 20 countries.

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