Beijing, 30 January 2020 – The emergence of the novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, has infected nearly 7,800 people in China and other parts of the world, since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Some cases of infection among children had also been reported.
Investigations are ongoing to identify a zoonotic (animal) source of 2019-nCoV infection, potentially from markets handling various animals. There is human-to-human transmission, including infection of health workers and close contacts.
UNICEF China has been in regular contact with China’s Ministry of Commerce, the National Health Commission, WHO, and other UN partners, as well as its regional office and Headquarters, to track the new challenges and needs as the situation unfolds.
UNICEF remains concerned about the impact of the disease on the most vulnerable, particularly children and pregnant women, and pledges support and solidarity for all those affected by this escalating outbreak.
Working with the Government, UNICEF procured and provided much-needed medical supplies to help bridge the gap in Hubei Province and other parts of China for the prevention and management of patients who have been identified with nCoV. The first batch of UNICEF provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks and protective suits, weighing six metric tons, arrived in Shanghai from Copenhagen on 29 January for shipment to Wuhan, with more items to be dispatched in the coming days and weeks.
UNICEF will also work with WHO and partners for a coordinated multi-sectoral response, engaging the community to protect children and their communities from exposure to the novel coronavirus, and its impact.
UNICEF is ready to support the Government in understanding the novel coronavirus’ impacts on children and pregnant women and in providing adequate support to reduce morbidity and mortality.
At this critical juncture, UNICEF reaffirms its commitment to ramping up the response in support of the Government and to further bolster joint action to end this outbreak.
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