Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has warned that the entire world will soon face the reality of a global pandemic of the nCoV-2019 coronavirus, as his country prepares to take emergency measures to curb the spread of the virus.
For the first time, more new infections were reported from outside of its country of origin, China, than were reported from within China itself. Italy, Iran and South Korea now appear to be the new hotbeds for the virus, while Sweden, Pakistan, Norway, Brazil, Algeria, Romania and Greece all reported their first cases of infection yesterday.
In total, the coronavirus is now present in no fewer than 38 different countries. There are 81,000 cases of the virus around the world and 2,800 people have died from the disease.
In a televised news conference in Australia’s capital of Canberra, Morrison warned that he expects the world to be gripped by an emergency pandemic.
“The advice we have received today is…there is every indication that the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus,” he said, according to news.com.au.
“In the last 24 hours … the data regarding the rate of transmission of the virus outside of China is fundamentally changing the way we need to now look at how this issue is being managed here in Australia.
“We believe the risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us and as a result as a government we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic.”
Elsewhere, in the United States, a Californian resident has been confirmed by the Centre for Disease Control to have contracted the coronavirus, despite having no known connection to another case and having not travelled abroad. This indicates that the virus is spreading within the country.
However, there is good news in the form of patients who have recovered from infection, with 32,000 people being reported to have overcome their exposure to the outbreak.
So while the virus is spreading like wildfire, it appears that health officials have learned more about the disease and mitigating its effects. However, that does not undersell the desperate need to prevent further spreading, which is why countless countries are discussing quarantines and travel bans. Although, very few have publicly supported such policies.