WHO expert says world is "not ready" to contain coronavirus
Cases in South Korea rose to over 1,200 on Wednesday.
The coronavirus appears to be loosening its grip on China somewhat according to reports, but around the world the epidemic swelled with cases being reported across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Infections passed the 1,200 mark in South Korea and there was the first reported case of the virus in Latin America, even if deaths and infection rates declined in China.
Dr. Bruce Aylward, who recently headed a fact finding mission in China with the World Health Organisation, said he personally believes the world is "not ready" to cope with the spread of the virus.
He praised the drastic and expansive quarantine and containment measures introduced in China but expressed doubts whether this could be replicated in other countries at short notice.
"Big conclusion for the world is — it's simply not ready," Aylward said.
"Folks, this is a rapidly escalating epidemic in different places that we've got to tackle superfast to prevent a pandemic."
"Hundreds of thousands of people in China did not get COVID-19 because of this aggressive response," Aylward said.
The virus has killed 2,715 people and infected over 78,000 in China while in the rest of the world, there have been more than 40 deaths and 2,700 cases.
In Ireland, there are no reported cases of the virus but a number of schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland have sent students some students home for a period of self isolation as a precautionary measure.
The students recently returned from ski trips in Italy and the schools made the decision following advice from health officials.
Cillian De Gascun, The Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, recently spoke to JOE about the virus, explaining exactly how it spreads, what we know about it so far, and the potential threat to Ireland.
You can check out our conversation with Cillian here.