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Europeans flee China as coronavirus cases continue to rise

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Europeans flee China as coronavirus cases continue to rise
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More than 17 thousand people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus - that's according to the latest tallies from China and other infected countries.

The vast majority are on the Chinese mainland but new cases continue to be confirmed around the world -- with the Philippines reporting the first death outside China.

In Europe, A number of people who have been airlifted from China, are being monitored in quarantine facilities for any symptoms of the virus.

Scientists are rushing to develop vaccines and treatment, but for now countries are doing what they can to keep the virus at bay.

No magic bullet

Professor Mika Salminen is Director of Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare. He told Good Morning Europe that the fatality in the Philippines doesn't necessarily indicate a greater danger for the general public, as the victim was already suffering from other conditions that compromised his immune system.

Regarding measures to try to control people arriving at European airports, Salminen said it remains to be seen if they will be effective. The World Health Organization (WHO), he said, does not recommend imposing travel restrictions on particular populations as they have "quite detrimental side-effects." The WHO has said travel restrictions require extensive resources and can cause social disruption. They can also lead to a lack of transparency, if countries fear confirmed cases could bring punitive economic consequences.

Vaccines are also unlikely to provide a quick solution, Professor Salminen says, but added there are some promising drugs currently being tested, that could help combat the effects of the virus.

To listen to the full interview with Mika Salminen, click on the media player above.

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