Coronavirus map LIVE: UN issues urgent statement as staff member rushed to hospital

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
By Paul Martin

A UNITED NATIONS official has been rushed to hospital with suspected coronavirus and four colleagues have been sent home to self-isolate.

Wed, Feb 26, 2020

A spokesman said the staff member worked at the UN’s Vienna International Centre (VIC) but did not give a nationality. In an emergency statement the UN said: “There is a suspected case of coronavirus involving a staff member at the VIC. The person has been taken to a designated hospital for further observation and tests.

“Close contact tracing has identified four individuals and they have been sent home and advised to self-monitor.

“Close contact is defined as 15 minutes face-to-face interaction at a distance of one metre or less.

“We are in contact with the host country and assisting affected staff. We will provide an update by 10am tomorrow.”

The latest case from Austria comes as fears of a global coronavirus pandemic continued to grow.

France has confirmed a 60-year-old man became its first citizen to die from the disease as the death toll in Italy climbed to 12 and Greece announced its first coronavirus case.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes a pandemic is now inevitable as the virus continues to spread to new countries.

CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat said: “It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when and how many people will be infected.”

There have now been 50 deaths outside China, including 12 in Italy and 16 in Iran, the most outside China where coronavirus emerged late last year.

Dr Bruce Aylward, head of a joint World Health Organisation-Chinese mission on the outbreak, said: “Think the virus is going to show up tomorrow.

“If you don’t think that way, you’re not going to be ready.”

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