Earlier this week, in Chinatown, an urban locality in Sydney, Australia, the paranoia took an unfortunate turn when bystanders — gripped by fears of the Wuhan virus — reportedly failed to help out a man who had collapsed outside a restaurant, according to an Australian news site, news.com.au.
The people at the scene feared that the 60-year-old man might be infected with the coronavirus. He died from a cardiac arrest outside Masuya Suisan restaurant on Tuesday night, 28 January.
The UK's Daily Star reported a New South Wales Police spokeswoman saying that officers were called to the restaurant after no one would perform CPR over fears of catching the virus.
According to the New South Wales (NSW) Police spokeswoman, there were no suspicious circumstances over the man's death. "A report will be prepared for the coroner," she added.
As of today, 31 January, while the coronavirus has killed a total of 213 in China, there has been no reported death outside Mainland China
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) over the global outbreak of the coronavirus, saying that the main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries.
"Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it," said WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"Let me be clear: this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak.
"We would have seen many more cases outside China by now – and probably deaths – if it were not for the (Chinese) government's efforts, and the progress they have made to protect their own people and the people of the world," the WHO director general added.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation reminded everyone to "remember that these are people, not numbers"
"More important than the declaration of a public health emergency are the committee's recommendations for preventing the spread of the virus and ensuring a measured and evidence-based response," Dr Tedros said.
"There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent. WHO stands ready to provide advice to any country that is considering which measures to take."
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