The World Health Organisation is holding another emergency meeting today to discuss the spreading Wuhan coronavirus. ( WHO-C.Black)

Wuhan virus: Another WHO emergency meeting, evacuations, travel ban

The World Health Organisation is meeting today in another emergency session to discuss whether to declare the Wuhan corona virus a public health emergency.

Recent figures show some 7,800 infection cases, 170 deaths.  Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, said at a previous emergency meeting that while the virus was a health emergency in China, it had not risen to the level of an international emergency.

A man wears a face mask while walking around Roissy Airport in Paris this week. Coronavirus fears have put a damper on air travel around the world. Several airlines have announced flights to China have been cancelled including British Airways, American Airlines, and Air Canada (Anita Pouchard Serra/Bloomberg)

Officially known as ‘novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)’  the virus has now spread to 20 countries and there have been cases of person to person transmission and so a potential for further global spread noting this potential was the reason for today’s meeting.

Canada is now working to send a plane to pick up several dozen Canadians in the province in China (Hubei) at the centre of the Wuhan virus. Some 160 Canadians have requested help, but it is not clear if all want to leave. About 250 Canadians in Wuhan are registered with Global Affairs Canada. Talks are ongoing with Chinese officials to clear the plane to arrive and take the passengers.

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Canada is working on the diplomatic front to organize a charter flight to bring home Canadians in China affected by coronavirus outbreak. (CBC)

Also being discussed is how to treat the passengers on arrival in Canada to prevent possible spread of any infection. This may include isolation

In other Wuhan virus related news, Hong Kong has cut off travel to the mainland in their effort to prevent spread of the virus.

In Italy a giant cruise ship has been docked and held in port at Civitavecchia with 6.000 passengers on board and locked down. Two Chinese passengers had shown symptoms and are being tested for the virus.

The huge Costa Smeralda cruise ship is docked in the Civitavecchia port 70km north of Rome on Jan. 30, 2020 with thousands remaining on board while authorities investigate two possible cases of the Wuhan coronavirus ( CP- Andrew Medichini-AP)

Air Canada, along with several other international airlines, has suspended all flights to and from China.

Additional information-sources

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