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WHO raises alarm as corona virus spreads in parts of Middle East, Europe


The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the coronavirus outbreak has no longer reached the degree of a pandemic but warned nations to step up preparations to deal with such a scenario, as new deaths and infections have been reported in the Middle East and Europe.

While the world fitness business enterprise is very involved about the unfold of the virus inside countries such as South Korea, Iran and Italy, its chief said on Monday the infections in China - the country where it originated late closing yr - have been declining considering that early February, which proved that the virus can be contained.

"For the moment, we are no longer witnessing the uncontained international unfold of this coronavirus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe sickness or death," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed reporters in Geneva.

He added, however, that international locations must be "doing everything we can to prepare for a viable pandemic.

"What we see are epidemics in unique parts of the world affecting nations in exceptional approaches and requiring a tailored response."

The WHO chief's remarks got here as officials in Europe and the Middle East scramble to restriction the spread of the outbreak and stock markets dipped on fears of a international slowdown due to the spread of the virus, officially known as COVID-19.

In Italy, where there have been greater than 200 infections and seven deaths, authorities have set up roadblocks, known as off football matches, sealed off the worst-affected cities and banned public gatherings across a large area.

Accroding to the Al Jazeera's source Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from central Milan in northern Italy, said there appeared to be a experience of alarm but not panic.

"People are taking precautions … but they are nevertheless out and about," he said. "All that being stated though, people are concerned because there had been simply a handful of instances remaining week and in the past few days they have spiked."

In Iran, the government stated 12 humans had died nationwide, while 5 neighbouring international locations - Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan - reported their first cases of the virus, with these infected all having links to Iran. A WHO group is due to arrive in Iran on Tuesday.

South Korea, meanwhile, pronounced 231 new cases, taking its complete to 833. Many are in its fourth-largest city, Daegu, which grew to become greater isolated with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air suspending flights there till next month. Mongolia beforehand introduced it would no longer permit flights from South Korea to land.

Officially acknowledged as COVID-19, the virus has so unfold to almost 30 nations and killed about two dozen people. In China, it has contaminated some 77,000 human beings and killed greater than 2,500, most of them in the central province of Hubei.

Beijing postponed the annual meeting of the National People's Congress - due to start on March 5 - for the first time in a long time due to the coronavirus outbreak, nation broadcaster CCTV said on Monday.

"So far, no new date has been set," Al Jazeera's Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said.

"But analysts say when the meeting is rescheduled, that will be the largest indicator that the united states of america has sooner or later received its so-called warfare in opposition to the coronavirus outbreak."

Yu stated 24 of China's 31 provinces reported no new cases in the previous 24 hours, while a journeying WHO crew stated that a turning point had been reached in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak and the capital of Hubei.

"They're at a point now the place the number of cured human beings coming out of hospitals every day is much more than the ill going in," Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO delegation in China, said in Beijing.

He delivered that China's actions, particularly in Wuhan, had likely avoided hundreds of heaps of cases and advised the relaxation of the world to research the lesson of appearing fast.

"The world is in your debt," Aylward said, referring to the people of Wuhan. "The human beings of that city have long past via an incredible length and they're nonetheless going through it."

Meanwhile, the virus is taking an more and more heavy toll on the world economy, with many factories in China closed or subdued due to the quarantines.

The surge of instances outside mainland China prompted sharp falls in global share markets as buyers fled to protected havens. European share markets suffered their largest slump considering that mid-2016, gold soared to a seven-year high, oil tumbled almost 5 percent and the Korean won fell to its lowest stage in view that August.

Wall Street dived round 3 percent after it opened as the unsightly sell-off spread. Italian shares tumbled almost 5 percent.

The International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday that the epidemic was once placing a "fragile" global economic restoration at risk, while the White House stated the shutdowns in China will have an have an impact on on the United States.

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