G-7 agrees to work with WHO, EU, China to tackle Coronavirus; Hong Kong reports first Coronavirus death

The Group of Seven leading industrialized democracies, G-7 have agreed to work with the WHO, EU and China seeking a unified procedure to tackle the fast-spreading Novel Coronavirus.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, They agreed that isolated approaches were less likely to succeed against the global risks posed by the virus. Health Ministers of Germany, Britain and France are expected to meet today.

They are likely to coordinate their approach on travel regulations and precautions as well as research into the virus.

Novel Coronavirus has till now infected close to 20,500 people on the Chinese mainland and at least 192 outside the Chinese mainland. 427 deaths have been reported till now in China and two abroad.

In all, 632 persons have been discharged from the hospital till now.

Newly built 1,000-bed hospital in Central China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the virus outbreak has started taking patients since yesterday and is being managed by the Chinese Army medical team.

This is expected to ease pressure on Wuhan’s existing hospitals. Wuhan Government has said that it will treat patients of mild pneumonia caused by the Novel Coronavirus in shelter hospitals.

Beijing’s Government Hospital doctors have said that there have been no signs of mutation to the virus and although people showing no symptoms can spread the virus, they appear to be less contagious.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is constantly monitoring the situation and issuing directions to officials to tackle this outbreak as the topmost priority.

AIR correspondent in Beijing reports that amid increasing global efforts and statements between US and China, China has accepted US offer to have U.S. experts as part of a WHO mission to study and help combat the virus that emerged in Hubei’s provincial capital of Wuhan.

World Health Organization Chief yesterday said, it was unnecessary to implement measures that interfere with international travel and trade to stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus. He also said that WHO is working with search engine Google to fight disinformation surrounding the virus. He has also said that a new and better system is required to deal with this outbreak globally.

Hong Kong today became the second place outside mainland China to report the death of a coronavirus patient. Hong Kong now has 17 confirmed infections, the majority of people who were infected in mainland China. Officials said, they feared local transmissions were increasing in the densely populated city.

Yesterday, Hong Kong’s leader announced the closure of all but two land border crossings to mainland China in a bid to halt the spread.
There has been growing public anger over the government’s response to the outbreak. People are demanding sealing of the border entirely including barring mainlanders from flying into the international airport.

Meanwhile, a strike by some medical workers entered its second day today with hospital authorities saying some 4,400 staff were absent. The authority said, the strike was having a serious impact.