More than 600 cases have been reported in China and several other countries as authorities work to prevent a global pandemic.
An 80-year-old patient with coronavirus died in China’s Hebei province a short while ago – the first confirmed death outside Hubei province where the outbreak began. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said: “Make no mistake, this is an emergency in China but it has not yet become a global health emergency.
He added that the WHO’s emergency committee had been divided over whether to declare a “public health emergency of international concern” and said China had taken appropriate measures to contain the new coronavirus’ spread.
Chinese authorities have moved to lock down three cities, with a combined population of more than 18 million people, in response to the virus.