World Health Organization holds press conference on the coronavirus outbreak

World Health Organization holds press conference on the coronavirus outbreak


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World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference Friday to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 100,000 people and killed at least 3,383 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Named COVID-19, the virus has shuttered commerce across China and is hitting corporate earnings. The virus has sent global stock markets falling, manufacturing has slowed as factories close their doors, and companies have been forced to cancel planned events around the world.

On Tuesday, WHO officials said the coronavirus kills 3.4% of reported cases globally. In comparison, the seasonal flu kills far fewer than 1% of those infected, officials said. WHO officials announced on Monday that the number of new coronavirus cases outside China was almost nine times higher than that inside the country over a 24 hour period. They also increased the risk assessment of the coronavirus to “very high” late last week.

The organization has yet to classify the virus as a pandemic and has maintained that its attention is on containing the spread, although the virus has spread substantially beyond China and has now been found in more than 70 countries.

Epidemics have emerged in Iran, Italy, and South Korea, where the number of cases is rapidly increasing. There are at least 156 confirmed U.S. cases and 11 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a number of new cases have started to appear in New York, California, and Washington state.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, warned last week that every country should prepare for its first case.

Read CNBC’s live updates to see the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak.


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