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Expert calls on WHO to declare coronavirus a global health emergency

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Signposts stand in front main entrance of hospital 'Klinikum Schwabing' in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.
Signposts stand in front main entrance of hospital 'Klinikum Schwabing' in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.   -   Copyright  Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved   -   Matthias Schrader
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Coronavirus should be declared a public health emergency so the outbreak is taken seriously across the globe, it's been claimed.

Expert Mark Eccleston-Turner told Euronews the World Health Organization (WHO) should make the declaration to help countries prepare.

It comes as the fifth case in Europe was declared in France on Tuesday. It has killed 106 people and infected 4,500.

"A declaration [by WHO] is a clarion call to the global health community that this needs to be taken seriously," Dr Eccleston-Turner, a lecturer in law from Keele University, told Euronews' Good Morning Europe show.

"This is a major event and it needs a co-ordinated international response from WHO and other countries."

Dr Eccleston-Turner also said that the current measures in China, such as closing borders, were ineffective because the "horse had already bolted".

"You have talked about border controls and screening - these measures are not considered effective," he added.

"They do not limit the spread of viruses or disease in any meaningful way. If you have the will, means or desire to cross borders you will do so.

"The horse has already bolted - if there has been spread it's already occurred."