As Novel coronavirus spreads rapidly in China and across the world, a lot of photos of terrified travellers have been shared on social media. Picture: @CarlZha/Twitter
As Novel coronavirus spreads rapidly in China and across the world, a lot of photos of terrified travellers have been shared on social media. Picture: @CarlZha/Twitter

As coronavirus fears increase, people use face mask alternatives

By IANS/XINHUA Time of article published Jan 31, 2020

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New Delhi - As Novel coronavirus spreads rapidly in China and across the world, a lot of photos of terrified travellers have been shared on social media, with people seen covering themselves with plastic sheets and even bottles in public.

Photos of people at different locations using everyday items such as empty water jars and plastic sheets to cover themselves are doing the rounds on the internet. There is a photo of a woman covered in a plastic sheet at a departmental store, with a protective layer of plastic over the goods as well.

In a post a family is seen covered in plastic sheet while waiting in the queue at an airport, all family members wearing face masks.

Among other snaps is that of a passenger on a China Eastern flight from Shanghai to Perth who wears a motorbike helmet.

In another photograph, a family at a railway station in Hong Kong is spotted wearing plastic containers.

The death toll in China from the new coronavirus rose to 170 on Thursday, with 7 711 confirmed cases, as repatriation flights for foreign nationals continued.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 

Speaking at a press conference after a closed-door meeting of the Emergency Committee, he stressed that the WHO disfavors or even opposes imposing travel or trade restrictions on China. 

Under the International Health Regulations (IHR), the WHO director-general has the authority to determine that an outbreak constitutes a PHEIC when certain conditions are met. 

IANS

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