Health Desk-29th Feb, 2020: The World Health Organization declared Thursday that the new coronavirus epidemic was at a “decisive point” as countries across the globe battled to contain the deadly outbreak, reports AFP.
Alarm is growing as China is no longer the only breeding ground for COVID-19, with other countries including South Korea and Italy becoming hotbeds of infection, raising fears of a pandemic.
South Korea reported 571 new cases on Friday, taking its total—the highest in the world outside China—to 2,337, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
That was a larger increase than the 327 reported by China, where nearly 2,800 people have died.
“We’re at a decisive point,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva. “If you act aggressively now, you can contain this virus, you can prevent people getting sick, you can save lives.”
The virus has already killed more than 2,760 people, mostly in China—where it first emerged in December—and infected more than 81,000 in over 45 countries.
But there are now more daily cases being recorded outside China, raising fears that poor countries with weak health infrastructures will not be able to cope.