Coranavirus Outbreak: China and WHO Mount National and Global Response
By admin February 5, 2020

The World Health Organization(WHO) officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30th, 2020. The very next day, the U.S. declared a public health emergency over coronavirus and restricted entry into the U.S. from China. Because of the increase of cases, WHO indicated that the coronavirus outbreak could become a global threat.

A Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”, formulated when a situation arises that is “serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected”, which “carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border” and “may require immediate international action”. In the past, there have been six PHEIC declarations: the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the 2014 polio declaration, the 2014 outbreak of Ebola, the 2015-16 Zika virus epidemic, the Kivu Ebola epidemic, and the 2020 novel coronavirus.

However, WHO is seemingly confident in China’s ability to control the break despite and increase in cases and reports that the coronavirus may be more contagious than initially thought. The announcement was made to protect countries with weaker response measures. At the same time, WHO is against any other country’s release of any travel and trade restrictions of China. The Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said that the Chinese government has adopted the most comprehensive and strict prevention since the coronavirus outbreak. The Chinese government has stated that it has full confidence and ability to win the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

For China, WHO’s announcement could impact tourism and international trade. More countries are aware of the risk of the coronavirus outbreak and reducing tourism and trade. Secondly, this announcement can have an impact on the domestic economy in a short term. A country’s economy consists of consumption, investment, and net exports. The impact on transnational activities such as trade and tourism will directly exert negative pressure on net exports. Additionally, domestic consumption and investment will also be affected if the epidemic worsens.

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Image/Photo Credit: World Health Organization (WHO).

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