The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a global health emergency, saying the fast-spreading virus has infected more than 8200 people across the world.
The global emergency status is a rare designation that helps the international agency mobilize financial and political support to contain the outbreak.
WHO officials stated that the emergency declaration was “in no way a vote of no confidence” in China, saying the country’s response has been exemplary.
The emergency was accompanied by recommendations to all countries trying to prevent or reduce cross-border spread of the virus, calling on them to avoid exaggerating or taking unnecessary measures against trade and travel.
Officials also said a primary focus ought to be on countries that are most vulnerable or have weak systems in place for responding to the crisis, adding that China could serve as an example of a fast and well-coordinated response to the problem.