The World Health Organization now considers, after careful thought and investigations, that the 8,200 victims of the fast-spreading deserve this outbreak to be called a health emergency. This announcement comes just hours after the US confirmed its first human-to-human transmission of the virus. The virus has killed 171 people and has spread to 18 countries globally. It is worth noting that 1. this virus can be transmitted from human-to-human days before the carrier has symptoms – this is key as it can be passed in airplanes and airports between people who look normal and 2. it can take up to ten days for symptoms to show as the virus incubates. Keep these two points in mind.
Have you ever traveled to Hong Kong and flown into its airport? I have at least 30 times and note that the numbers are staggering. This airport services over 220 destinations worldwide. You can fly to cities in Australia, to Europe, to the Middle East, to the US, Japan, Malaysia and to destinations in Africa. Think about the thousands of people who left Hong Kong and landed in cities around the world – in the past 10 days.
These are the facts and we all support those who are trying to contain this virus but the risks are there and WHO must work closely with every country that receives flights. Final note: Beijing Airport flies to destinations around the world and has over 1,100 flights per day connecting the 1.3 billion people of China with the world.