Fears over containing novel COVID-19 grow as cases outside China spike

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BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 18: A Chinese sales clerk wears a mask as she waits for customers under a sign reading "All pay attention to safety, all care for life" at a hat shop in a commercial street on February 18, 2020 in Beijing, China. Apple said Monday that it did not expect to meet its quarterly revenue targets due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. The number of cases of the deadly new coronavirus COVID-19 rose to more than 57800 in mainland China Tuesday, in what the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global public health emergency. China continued to lock down the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have confirmed can be passed from human to human. In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities have maintained and in some cases tightened the travel restrictions on the city which is the epicentre of the virus and also in municipalities in other parts of the country affecting tens of millions of people. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 1870 on Tuesday mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and screening has been stepped up at airports around the world. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Concerns are growing over the global spread of the novel coronavirus after a spike in cases outside of mainland China among people with no connection to China or the city of Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak.

World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that there was still a chance to contain the virus, “but the window of opportunity is narrowing.

“The WHO has called on countries to continue containment measures while preparing for community transmission, he said, adding that the outbreak could still go in any direction.

“We must not look back and regret that we failed to take advantage of the window of opportunity we have,” he said.

His words come as countries outside of China report a sharp increase of coronavirus cases — particularly in South Korea and Iran.

 Italy has also reported two deaths, raising fears of self-sustaining epidemics.Authorities in China’s Hubei province confirmed an additional 366 cases of the virus on Friday, 45 fewer than the previous day, taking the total number of cases at the epicenter of the outbreak to over 63,400.

The total number of cases in mainland China is now more than 76,200.The global death toll from the outbreak has reached2,372after 109 deaths were reported in mainland China Friday, including 106 in Hubei, nine fewer than the previous day.Outside of mainland China, at least 17people have died from the coronavirus,including five people in Iran.

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