ABU DHABI, 1st February, 2020 (WAM) -- Although the World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus to be a worldwide health emergency, the WHO also clarified that there was no reason to restrict international travel over the virus, said the English daily Gulf News in its editorial on Saturday.
Since first emerging in China in the city of Wuhan about two weeks ago, more than 10,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed the vast majority of those in the nation of 1.4 billion, and another 171,999 or so are being monitored for the illness, the newspaper pointed out.
Yes, the scale of the outbreak has exceeded the number of cases of Severe Acquired Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, recorded in the 2003 outbreak, but the death toll stands at just over 200 and seems to be most dangerous for those who have severely weakened immune systems before contracting coronavirus, the editorial noted.
Let’s be very clear the likelihood of contracting coronavirus is very small indeed. Putting it in perspective, in China, it’s a 100,000 to one chance. Here, or anywhere else, far less. And spreading disinformation on coronavirus is irresponsible and unhelpful, and authorities in the UAE are right to warn of the dangers of spreading falsehoods on social media, the daily said.
Nations around the world have made their own arrangements to repatriate their citizens from Wuhan. Precautionary measures have been taken to monitor or isolate those expats on their return. A few governments have advised their people not to make unnecessary trips to China in the interim.
Some international airlines have also decided to suspend flights to China over fears that they might assist in any potential dissemination of the virus, and others have cancelled flight simply because there has been a large drop-off in passengers travelling to and from there.
On Friday, the UK confirmed its first two cases, and there have been reports of confirmed cases in the US and Germany.
Here in the UAE where our airports are critical transit points for passengers, our public health authorities and other officials are taking every prudent measure to monitor and isolate those who may be showing potential symptoms. While a family here has contracted the coronavirus, it is important that we all keep perspective on this outbreak, the newspaper suggested.
Let’s be very clear the likelihood of contracting coronavirus is very small indeed. Putting it in perspective, in China, it’s a 100,000 to one chance. Here, or anywhere else, far less. And spreading disinformation on coronavirus is irresponsible and unhelpful, and authorities in the UAE are right to warn of the dangers of spreading falsehoods on social media, the editorial reiterated.
We know the threat posed by coronavirus. We know the risks, and we know how to monitor and isolate too. There is no need to panic this is not a killer pandemic straight from the Hollywood screen.
If there is a danger, it comes from complacency by not taking this threat seriously. The WHO declaration does that, and every appropriate measure in place now, the editorial concluded.