The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus now a global emergency as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.
“The WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.
Dr Tedros, speaking at the press conference in Geneva, described the virus as an “unprecedented outbreak” that has been met with an “unprecedented response”.
He praised the “extraordinary measures” Chinese authorities had taken to prevent it from spreading. Saying “Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” he added.
The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 countries outside of the country, but no deaths. Most cases have emerged in people who have travelled from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began.
However, there have been eight cases of human-to-human infection – in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States.