"The world needs to be on alert now" - Head of WHO on the spread of the coronavirus 2 months ago

"The world needs to be on alert now" - Head of WHO on the spread of the coronavirus

Over 100 cases have been reported in 19 countries outside of China.

The latest official statistics, as of today (Thursday 30 January), reveal that there have been over 7,700 cases reported in China, and at least 170 people have died as a result of the coronavirus.

60 million people inside China are faced with a total or partial lockdown for the week, while the governments of America, Japan, France and many other countries have begun to evacuate citizens out of the Wuhan region of China, where the virus is believed to have originated.

Outside of China, over 100 cases have been reported in 19 countries, including Canada, the US, Germany, Finland, France, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and the UAE.

Michael Ryan, the head of the World Health Organisation's Health Emergencies Programme, told CNN the following:

"The whole world needs to be on alert now. The whole world needs to take action and be ready for any cases that come, either from the original epicenter or from other epicenters that become established.

"194 countries implementing unilateral measures based on their own individual risk assessment is a potential recipe for disaster at least politically, economically and socially. So ensuring that all measures that are being taken that affect travel, trade and economy are based on rational public health evidence is very important."