new coronavirus
Passengers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus as they arrive on a flight from Asia at Los Angeles International Airport, California, on Jan. 29, 2020. A new virus that has killed more than one hundred people, infected thousands and has already reached the US could mutate and spread, China warned, as authorities urged people to steer clear of Wuhan, the city at the heart of the outbreak.
Mark Ralston/AFP

COVID-19 spotted in over 50 countries

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - February 29, 2020 - 10:39am

MANILA, Philippines — The coronavirus disease 2019 has arrived in five more member states of the World Health Organization, bringing the count of countries that have reported cases of the virus to 52.

New Zealand, Nigeria in Africa and Europian countries Belarus, Lithuania and the Netherlands have all reported COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, according to the WHO situational report released Saturday locally.

This prompted WHO to increase the assessment of the risk of spread and impact of COVID-19 to very high at the global level.

“The continued increase in the number of cases, and the number of affected countries over the last few days, are clearly of concern,” WHO Director-General doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a Friday media briefing.

“What we see at the moment are linked epidemics of COVID-19 in several countries, but most cases can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases. We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities.”

The health official said that if this is the case, the world can still contain the virus as long as cases are detected early, patients are isolated and treated and contacts are traced.

COVID-19 has now infected at least 83,652 globally with most (94.39%) of the cases reported in China.

The proportion of cases in China, however, continues to decrease as more new infections were reported in other countries for the third day in a row.

“In the past 24 hours, China reported 329 cases (331 based on the more recent WHO report) – the lowest in more than a month,” Ghebreyesus said.

The 51 countries outside of China, meanwhile, collectively reported 1,027 new cases.

Moreover, the organization reported that as of Thursday, more than 36,117 patients in China have recovered from COVID-19 (26,403 in Hubei and 15,826 in Wuhan).

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