What to know and what is being done about COVID-19

Austin Wendling, Co-Managing Editor

The coronavirus disease 2019, now dubbed COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that has caused fear throughout the world, some warranted, and some not. COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Cases started to appear in late 2019, but have since become more abundant and have gained more notoriety in early 2020. The virus is mainly centered in China where the majority of the cases are located. However, there are some cases in other countries, including the U.S., but most of these cases involve people coming home from China or were in direct contact with someone coming from China. As of writing this article only 15 people are infected with COVID-19 in the entire United States, not a large enough number to be concerned about.
In a speech to the Munich Security Conference, the WHO Director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, remarks on the encouraging news and concerns, he and those with him have about COVID-19. He is encouraged by the quick speed at which China is attempting to stop the spread of the virus. On China’s part, they have quarantined 15 cities and nearly 50 million people, to stop the spread of the virus. They have also taken up building more hospitals to be able to treat those infected. Dr. Ghebreyesus also stated his encouragement for the entire international community that has come together to learn more about this virus and finding ways to treat it. “We’re encouraged that an international team of experts is now on the ground in China, working closely with their Chinese counterparts to understand the outbreak and to inform the next steps in the global response.” A comforting note is that he is encouraged by the fact that due to awareness, the spread of COVID-19 to other countries has slowed down. Along with his encouragement for the health care officials, he also remarked his concerns. He remarks on his concerns for the level of urgency that is taken in not seeing the virus as a threat sooner. He also holds concerns about the misinformation that is being spread over the world about the virus.
Despite WHO having high hopes, they declared PHEIC, Public Health Emergency of International Concern, as well as the CDC, has issued a statement, “The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 virus is high, both globally and to the United States.” On Jan. 27, the CDC recommended people to avoid traveling to China unless necessary. The White House has taken that a step forward issuing a “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-immigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus.” This proclamation bars any immigrants and non-immigrants from entering the U.S. if they spent 14 days or longer in China, this excludes Hong Kong and Macau. Those exempted are U.S. citizens, guardians of U.S. citizens, spouses of U.S. citizens, and other mitigating factors.

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