Coronavirus: 'Way too early' to predict end of outbreak, WHO says

Representative Image

Representative Image

The figure is only the second time there has been a decline in the daily death toll and follows Tuesday's data showing 108 new fatalities.

As Beijing scrambles to contain the virus, amid hopes the epidemic is peaking, the number of people infected on a cruise ship off Japan's coast rose to 174.

Zhong, however, had previously predicted in late January that the epidemic would peak by the first week of this month.

This comes as it's been confirmed that a woman who flew into London from China a few days ago is being treated for coronavirus, bringing the total number of United Kingdom cases to nine. "I can't say. But I think it's at its peak in mid- to late-February", he said.

The head of the WHO's emergency program, Mike Ryan, also said the stabilization of new case numbers in China was reassuring, as was the apparently less aggressive and less accelerated behavior of the virus outside of Hubei province.

"I think we will find a vaccine", she said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) named the disease caused by the virus as COVID-19, avoiding any animal or geographic designation to avoid stigmatization and to show the disease comes from a new coronavirus discovered in 2019. "So we have to do everything today using the available weapons to fight this virus while preparing for the long term using the preparations for the vaccines", the director-general said.

World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. These include a sharply slowing domestic economy, the trade war with the USA and push-back on China's increasingly aggressive foreign policies.

But one has received some more positive news. According to WHO´s most recent report, 17,000 people have passed away and 42,708 have been infected so far.

Meanwhile, in Japan, another 39 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in quarantined there, with one quarantine officer also infected, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The case of a British man who passed on the virus to at least 11 other people - without having been in China - has raised fears of a new phase of contagion overseas.

Given China's economic heft and position at the nexus of global supply chains, the virus is affecting companies far and wide and across multiple sectors across the world.

USA chip giant Intel, Facebook, Chinese phone maker Vivo, and Cisco, meanwhile, have all withdrawn from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over coronavirus fears, joining other industry heavyweights pulling out of the world's top mobile fair.

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