The World Health Organization has changed the status of the novel coronavirus, raising its threat level to “high” amid increasing global transmission and mounting deaths.
The WHO made the announcement Sunday, saying the previous declaration of “moderate” global risk was an error.
According to a release from the organization, the threat level is now “very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level.”
The designation comes as new information about the virus shows an increasingly precarious situation for world health.
Ma Xiaowei, the National Health Commission of China’s director, confirmed that the virus can be spread during its incubation period. This renders global efforts to detect and halt the spread, which rely heavily on temperature checks, largely ineffective.
Because of this nasty trait, quarantine efforts in China have done little to contain the virus.
Even with tens of millions now behind some sort of travel restriction in the communist nation, the coronavirus continues to spread. Major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have so far evaded a total lockdown.
Worldwide, the situation isn’t looking any better.
What started as a few confirmed cases in the United States has turned into over 100 suspected infections, all being monitored by the CDC.
Although originally painted as an illness that only posed a danger to the elderly and those who are already sick, the latest data from China show nearly a quarter of those infected end up as a “severe” case or dead.
The total number of confirmed cases of the 2019 novel #coronavirus reported from mainland China 🇨🇳 to date is 4,515.
— World Health Organization Western Pacific (@WHOWPRO) January 28, 2020
With the coronavirus outbreak still in its infancy, more time is needed to get a handle on how deadly this pathogen really is.
While the official numbers from the Chinese government remain high, there is speculation that the communist regime is either suppressing the true totals or is woefully unprepared for an epidemic of this scale.
Considering the long incubation time and possible lack of symptoms, it’s likely that many in China have the virus and are not even aware.
WHO Director-General @DrTedros today met President Xi Jinping of #China🇨🇳 in Beijing. They shared the latest information on the new #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and reiterated their commitment to bring it under control. https://t.co/IIOB7xSrut pic.twitter.com/vuVj55eU1z
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 28, 2020
The virus’ origins are still shrouded in mystery, with many casting doubt on Chinese claims that it originated in a wet market that contained wild and exotic game meat.
Reports of people simply collapsing inside the quarantine zone, backed up by video, also seem to hint that there is much more to this coronavirus than the public is aware of.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.