Japan reported its first case of Monkeypox on Monday in Tokyo with a 30-year-old man testing positive, local media reported citing a government source.
According to Kyodo News, the government officials, earlier in the day, held a meeting to discuss measures needed to respond to a possible outbreak of Monkeypox.
On July 23, WHO declared Monkeypox a global health emergency. “I have decided that the global Monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said in a briefing. The alert level, the lowest on the country’s four-tier scale, was issued earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management.
Takashi Murata said that a task force will deal with the outbreak of Monkeypox.
In a press briefing, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said that “the task force will work with international organizations to collect data on monkeypox patients outside Japan to learn how other countries are dealing with the disease,” as per the local media. Underlining the five elements that are used over deciding whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, Ghebreyesus said that firstly, the information provided by countries shows the rapid growth of the virus.
“Second, the three criteria for declaring a public health emergency of international concern under the International Health Regulations, which have been met.” He further added that the third one was the advice of the Emergency Committee, which has not reached a consensus.
The fourth one was the scientific principles, evidence and other relevant information, which are insufficient and the last one was the risk to human health, international spread and the potential for interference with international traffic.
The WHO chief noted that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions except in the European region where we assess the risk as high.
“There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment,” he said further. “
Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners,” he added.