WHO on coronavirus: Keep a distance of at least 1metre from anyone who’s coughing, sneezing


WHO on coronavirus: Keep a distance of at least 1metre from anyone who's coughing, sneezing
FILE PHOTOT | VOA | Passengers arriving from a China Southern Airlines flight from Changsha in China are screened for the new type of coronavirus, whose symptoms are similar to the cold or flu and many other illnesses, upon their arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. Some countries began evacuating their citizens Wednesday from Wuhan, the Chinese city hardest-hit by an outbreak of the new virus that is thought to have killed over one hundred people and infected more than 6,000.

In Summary

  • While China has been hit hardest by far, there have been some 2,700 cases in other countries with more than 40 deaths.
  • Algeria's health ministry said Tuesday that an adult Italian had tested positive after arriving in the country last week.
  • This is the African continent's second case following one in Egypt earlier this month.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has alerted governments to be ready to aggressively react when coronavirus cases appear within their borders.

Cases have been reported in more than 30 countries, including new ones in Europe and the Middle East this week.

Bruce Aylward, who led a joint World Health Organization-China mission on the virus, said governments must be thinking about rapidly identifying cases that emerge, searching out people who have been in contact with those patients, and using isolation to prevent virus spread.

The message he wants governments to send to citizens: “They should be washing their hands now.”

Recommendations for people to stay healthy also include maintaining a distance of at least one meter from anyone who is coughing or sneezing and avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth.

For those who are coughing or sneezing, the WHO says they should cover their mouth with a bent elbow instead of their hands, and those who experience a fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical care.

While China has been hit hardest by far, there have been some 2,700 cases in other countries with more than 40 deaths.

Algeria’s health ministry said Tuesday that an adult Italian had tested positive after arriving in the country last week.

This is the African continent’s second case following one in Egypt earlier this month.

South Korea reported its number of cases rose to 1,261 Wednesday with 11 deaths.

The U.S. military said Wednesday one of its soldiers stationed in South Korea tested positive for the virus and was in quarantine.

Most of South Korea’s cases have been isolated to the Daegu area, and officials are moving ahead with efforts to test more members of a church whose members make up a large portion of those cases.

Elsewhere there is concern about Italy and Iran, from which cases in recent days have been traced to new infections in parts of Europe and the Middle East.

Italy has more than 300 cases and 10 deaths.

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