The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Thursday that the new coronavirus outbreak is a global health emergency, acknowledging that the disease represents a risk outside of China, where it emerged last month.
The declaration — officially called a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ — serves notice to all states that the world’s top health advisory body rates the situation as serious.
Countries can decide whether to close their borders, cancel flights, screen people arriving at airports or take other measures.
What is alarming is that the decision came as cases have begun to appear in people who had not travelled to China during the outbreak.
Person-to-person transmission may occur if someone who is sick breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes in the vicinity of others. Respiratory droplets carrying the virus may then travel from the sick person to other people or surfaces.
At the time of the writing of this letter over 400 people have died and the number of confirmed infected cases in China tops 20, 000.
As matters stand, man is both vulnerable and bewildered by the threat that the coronavirus can turn into a pestilence.
What should be remembered is the power of prayer and to have faith at a time when we seem powerless to a danger that we have no control over.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk