World Health Organization’s declaration that the coronavirus is now an official international emergency
Am I covered for COVID-19?
Coronavirus is declared a global public health emergency – 30 January 2020
Coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, and has spread across China and now dozens of cases have been confirmed in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as countries in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
On 30 January 2020, the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General agreed that the coronavirus outbreak “now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)”. A PHEIC has only been declared six times since it was introduced in 2005 following the outbreak of SARS.
What is a PHEIC?
The term PHEIC is defined as “an extraordinary event” which is determined by these two regulations:
- To constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease; and
- To potentially require a coordinated international response.
What should I do if I’m traveling overseas soon?
If you are traveling overseas soon, stay up to date with local news and media, and always follow the advice of local authorities or your government.
Be aware of which countries cases of coronavirus are rapidly spreading. Wash your hands consistently, maintain at least 3ft (1m) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early (call before visiting your doctor).
The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other respiratory diseases, including the flu and the common cold.
If you have traveled to Wuhan recently
If you have traveled to Wuhan or suspect you have been in contact with someone who is infected with coronavirus and are experiencing the following symptoms: feeling tired, having difficulty breathing, have a high temperature, cough and/or sore throat, call your doctor to rule out the possibility of coronavirus.