World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Speaking at a press conference after a closed-door meeting of the Emergency Committee, he stressed that the WHO disfavors or even opposes imposing travel or trade restrictions on China.
Under the International Health Regulations (IHR), the WHO director-general has the authority to determine that an outbreak constitutes a PHEIC when certain conditions are met. The designation is aimed at mobilizing more international resources to deal with the epidemic.
Since the IHR entered into force in 2007, the WHO has made multiple PHEIC declarations.
Ghebreyesus noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping personally commands and deploys the prevention and containment efforts.
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