WHO: Coronavirus now ‘an active’ outbreak

904
During a press conference in Switzerland this week, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, and his team provided updates on the coronavirus. (Still image taken from ABC News)

The World Health Organization is now describing the coronavirus as an active outbreak, warning the global community to be prepared.

During a press conference in Switzerland this week, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme and his team provided updates on the emerging health issue.

Ryan says that as of this stage, while information about the coronavirus is being updated and changing by the hour, it is clearly centered in China, with the overwhelming cases still being reported from the area or having connections to China.

“However, there are 71 cases reported in 15 other countries. Of note, within those cases, is that the majority of those cases, apart from 6, are associated with travel to China. And of those, the vast majority of those cases, still, are associated with travel to Wuhan,” Ryan said.

But he warned: “The world needs to be on alert now. The whole world needs to take action and be ready for any cases that come — either from the original epicenter or from other epicenters that become established.”

Although no coronavirus cases have been reported in Guam or the Mariana Islands to date, the Department of Public Health and Social Services along with emergency management stakeholders says it is actively preparing for its potential arrival.

With roughly 700 Chinese visitors arriving in the CNMI every day, CNMI Governor Ralph Torres has already declared a state of emergency as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and the world.

##