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COVID-19: More new cases outside China – WHO



The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases outside China has outpaced those inside the country for the first time.

The WHO Director-General of the world body, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on the agency’s twitter handle @WHO that China reported 78,190 cases, including 2,718 deaths as at Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.

According to him, only 10 new cases outside of Hubei province are reported.

“Outside China, there are now 2,700 cases in 37 countries and 44 deaths. The number of new cases reported outside China on Tuesday exceeded the number of cases in China for the first time.

“The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning.

“There are now cases linked to Iran in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman and to Italy in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.

“On Tuesday, a joint team between WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control arrived in Rome. They arrived in Rome to review the public health measures that have been put in place and provide technical support.’’

In addition, he said WHO team would travel to Iran to provide support.

“One of the biggest challenges the UN health agency faces is that too many affected countries are still not sharing data with WHO.

WHO cannot provide appropriate public health guidance without disaggregated data and detailed line lists.

We are communicating with ministers directly, there is some improvement, and we urge all countries to share this data with WHO immediately,” Ghebreyesus said.

The director said that increase in cases outside China had prompted some media and politicians to push for a pandemic to be declared.

“We should not be too eager to declare a pandemic without a careful and clear-minded analysis of the facts.

WHO has already declared it highest level of alarm: a public health emergency of international concern.

“Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit, but it does have significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma, and paralysing systems.

“It may also signal that we can no longer contain the virus, which is not true,” he said.

According to him, the fight can be won if we do the right things.

“We will not hesitate to use the word pandemic if it is an accurate description of the situation.

WHO is monitoring the epidemic around the clock and engaging experts on this issue and did not record any sustained and intensive community transmission of this virus, nor large-scale severe disease or death.”

Edited By: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Cecilia Ologunagba: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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