World Health Organization declares Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency

"declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,"

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has claimed 170 lives in China.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the decision following a meeting of its emergency committee. “Let me be clear this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” Tedros said.

Only five public health emergencies have been declared by the WHO over the past decade. The declaration includes recommendations to all countries that could help prevent-cross border spread of the disease.

In Canada, there are three confirmed cases of the disease; a husband and wife in Ontario tested positive after returning from China, while a businessman in B.C. has also contracted the virus. As of Thursday afternoon, Ontario officials were monitoring 27 people suspected of having contracted the coronavirus.