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CARICOM Health Ministers to Hold Emergency Meeting on Coronavirus

by: - February 3, 2020
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(Jamaica Observer)  Health ministers from across the region will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss issues related to the coronavirus which the World Health Organization (WHO) has now classified as a Public health emergency of international concern.

The meeting of the Caricom Council for Human and Social Development (Health) that will also be attended by other senior health and security officials will provide updates on regional plans.

According to the WHO, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide is now 14,557, most of which are in China – and the death toll has risen to at least 304.

On Saturday a 44-year-old man in the Philippines died of the virus – making him the first reported death outside of China.

The coronavirus outbreak which originated in Wahun City, Hubei Province, China, started in December 2019 .

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says while there has been no confirmed cases of the virus, it is monitoring developments and working closely with its international health partners to respond to this health threat.

CARPHA said in the event that there is a suspected imported case in the region, it has already made arrangements with partner public health agencies for testing “within the next three weeks, while we await delivery of necessary supplies”.