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WHO bumps coronavirus threat assessment to ‘very high’ global risk

WHO bumps coronavirus threat assessment to ‘very high’ global risk
World Health Organization (WHO) is now worsening its risk assessment of the coronavirus to a “very high” on the global level. The virus has already spread to at least 48 countries besides its hotbed, China.

"We have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told media at the agency's headquarters in Geneva.

As of Friday, 4,351 cases, including 67 deaths, have been registered across 48 countries outside of China. While several nations are experiencing "linked epidemics of COVID-19," the majority of the coronavirus cases "can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases."

“Since yesterday, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria have all reported their first cases. All these cases have links to Italy,” Ghebreyesus said.

Italy is experiencing the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with the number of registered cases standing at 650 and the death toll at least 20, according to latest official figures. Apart from Italy, South Korea and Iran are experiencing major outbreaks as well.

The latter suspended parliamentary work earlier in the day in a bid to halt the spread of the epidemic. Several high-ranking Iranian officials, including a vice president and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who led the taskforce to tackle the outbreak, have tested positive for the virus.

Also on rt.com Iranian parliament suspends work over coronavirus spread

In China, where nearly 80,000 people contracted the virus and almost three thousand died, the epidemics situation appears to be improving. According to WHO figures, over the past 24 hours Beijing reported ‘only’ 329 new cases, which is the lowest figure in more than a month.

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