HIA, MoPH monitoring China virus
January 23 2020 07:08 PM

*Too early to declare the virus a global emergency:WHO

Hamad International Airport (HIA), along with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the Pandemic Preparedness Committee in Qatar, is closely monitoring the situation following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China.

The MoPH is also in close contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and following their recommendations and guidance in conducting thermal screening for all travellers arriving from China. “We would like to ensure passengers, visitors, employees and the general public that their health and safety remain our top priority,” HIA said in a passenger advisory last night.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) advised Qatari citizens in China to exercise caution and take all preventive measures against the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the WHO said it was "a bit too early" to declare the new coronavirus a global health emergency as China put millions of people on lockdown amid an outbreak that has killed 18 people and infected more than 630.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva the organisation's Emergency Committee of 16 independent experts had been divided in its conclusion.

"Make no mistake, though, this is an emergency in China. But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one," said Tedros.

Last updated: January 23 2020 11:10 PM

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