There are currently almost 78,000 worldwide cases of Covid-19, the virus known as coronavirus. Major outbreaks have now occurred in Italy and Iran, forcing strict travel restrictions within the countries.
Experts are now warning the situation will soon reach a critical point, as the spread of the virus outpaces efforts to contain it.
Experts have advised that the international community needs to act quickly as the spread of coronavirus reaches tipping point.
Director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the international community needs to act quickly before the “window of opportunity” closes completely, referring to our ability to prevent a global pandemic.
50,000 people in northern Italian towns have been in lockdown since Friday. Police are patrolling the streets in the towns, handing out fines to anyone caught moving in or out of outbreak areas.
In Iran, schools and universities in 14 provinces have been closed, whilst South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has placed the country on “red alert”. Some outbreaks have confounded experts by showing no obvious link to China.
“This is an important stage of the coronavirus outbreak,” describes Dr Robin Thompson, a research fellow at the University of Oxford. “Fast isolation of even mild cases in affected areas is important for preventing substantial person-to-person transmission in Europe. It is critical that public health guidelines are followed.”