Sunday, 23 Feb 2020

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Virus outbreak not pandemic yet: WHO

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Health Desk- 5th Feb, 2020: The World Health Organization on Tuesday said that the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus, which has spread from China to two dozen countries, does not yet constitute a “pandemic”.

“Currently we are not in a pandemic,” Sylvie Briand, head of WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, told reporters in Geneva.

Instead, she said, “we are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci.”

The disease has killed more than 425 people and infected a further 20,000 in China, nearly all of them in central Hubei province -- the epicentre of the outbreak -- and spread to two-dozen countries since it emerged in December.

Briand said that while there is rapid spread of transmission in Hubei, outside the province there are mainly “spillover cases” with sporadic clusters of transmission.

However, authorities in China have taken dramatic measures to halt transmission, while other affected countries have put in place steps to rein in the spread.

Courtesy: Afp, Geneva