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Coronavirus is ‘a pandemic’ says, public health expert

by LLB Reporter
25th Feb 20 12:09 pm

Public health expert John Ashton claimed the deadly virus has already become a global pandemic and has accused the World Health Organization of “mincing their words.”

Speaking to Channel 4 News Ashton said the WHO are feeding a political game and warned, coronavirus has already reached the requirements for a world pandemic.

For a world pandemic to be announced officially it demands the cooperation of over 30 countries across the world, there are now around 37 countries affected with the virus.

Aston said, “I think they are mincing their words.

“This kind of situations are very political and when you look at the criteria for a pandemic this is something which is a novel virus, it’s now worldwide.

“There are something like 37 countries already affected. It requires a coordinated collaborative response from countries around the world.

“This to all intents and purposes is a pandemic.

“People are cutting corners in saying what it is. But it requires the organised efforts of everybody.”

Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director general of the WHO said whilst it is not yet a pandemic, he warned coronavirus has the full potential to become one.

The British health secretary, Matt Hancock told Sky News on Tuesday, “I’m pretty worried. We’ve got the plans in place.

“At the moment the containment here is going well, but it’s my job to be worried.

“That’s what you’d expect of a health secretary in the middle of what is a global outbreak.

“There is a good chance that we contain this at this sort of level where the number of cases – although we expect more cases in the UK – the number of cases is relatively low as now.”

Dr Kerstin Braun, President of Stenn Group, comments on the effects of the coronavirus on global economies and industries.

Dr Braun said, “The WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, might have played down the term pandemic for now, but the effects of the coronavirus on global economies are unavoidable. We’ve already seen £62m wiped off the value of the FTSE 100 and shares on Wall Street sent tumbling. Share prices in Asia also slid for the second straight day on Tuesday.

“We already know from our own research that half of firms in the UK and US (46% and 45% respectively) predict a recession in 2020, while a further third (37% and 35%) predict a global recession this year.

“These predictions could very much become a reality if the virus isn’t contained and every week, we’re seeing news of another countries’ GDP hit.

“Tourism dependent countries, particularly those in Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia could be worst affected, after bookings have dried up from the globe-trotting Chinese who account for over 15% of the world’s tourism spending.

“The coronavirus is also likely to affect global trade. US imports are being held hostage at the ports when coming in via ship. Vessels need to wait 14 days until they are able to access the port and offload, slowing down US imports. For China, where the outbreak first began, the virus could topple China’s dominant manufacturing position and companies will need to be diversifying their supply chains.

“This could lead to more balanced global trade relationships, particularly if emerging manufacturing countries such as Vietnam are about to capitalise on the opportunity.

“We know Chinese GDP in the first and second quarter will be impacted by the effects of the coronavirus and its likely supply chains will move to Vietnam. We’ll also see more advanced goods such as tech going to India, and more apparel going to Bangladesh.

“The automotive industry will also be affected by the coronavirus. Supply chains are slowing down in China as manufacturing is not at its full capacity. Factories are opening back up but with only about 50% of the workforce.

“Given the automotive industry is already struggling to adopt to the lower and changing demand for cars, particularly as more people are opting for electronic vehicles, the coronavirus is likely the automotive industry could be soon hit.”

According to the Johns Hopkins hospital, globally there are 80,248 suspected and confirmed cases and 2,704 people have died.

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