The World Health Organization (WHO) is declaring an international emergency in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, the organization panel announced the fast spreading disease, which has infected more than 8,200 people across the world, is now a global health emergency.
Since it emerged less than a month ago, the coronavirus has resulted in at least 170 deaths and has spread from China to more than a dozen other countries.
“The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries,” explained WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The greatest concern is for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, which are ill prepared to deal with it.”
According to officials, the declaration does not mean the agency has a vote of no confidence in China. The announcement was intended to help the agency mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak.