At least 9 people being tested for coronavirus in Alameda County

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Fears over coronavirus in China trigger face mask shortage

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Fears over coronavirus in China trigger face mask shortage

The news was announced today in a press conference.

Dr Tedros said the fact he was not declaring a public health emergency of worldwide concern (PHEIC) "should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not think the situation is serious". But when one of the virologists who helped identify the SARS virus visited Wuhan, where this virus originated, he didn't see almost enough being done to fight it. People were out at markets without masks, "preparing to ring in the New Year in peace and had no sense about the epidemic", Guan Yi of the University of Hong Kong's State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases told Caixin.

British authorities said passengers arriving from China to Heathrow Airport in London, Europe's busiest, and other airports were not being screened but that they were being given information leaflets on what to do if they fall ill.

"The problem with social distancing is that we have very little evidence that it works", Larry Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told Wired. "It may yet become one", director-general Ghebreyesus said.

Contagion® spoke to Krutika Kuppalli, MD, vice chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's Global Health Committee about her opinion on the committee's decision.

As of Friday, the virus had claimed the lives of at least 26 people in mainland China, including a 36-year-old man not listed as having any pre-existing conditions. "As Dr. Tedros mentioned this is an emergency in China and all of Asia is at high risk, which puts the entire world at risk given our increasingly mobile and connected society".

The first cases appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China.

CDC has also raised its travel advisory to alert level 3, indicating a recommendation to avoid nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.

The straitjacket on Wuhan tightened further Friday, with the city limiting the number of taxis allowed on roads from noon (0400 GMT), and hugely popular Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing saying it was temporarily suspending services there.

An NHS-wide system is in place across Wales to "ensure that there is adequate preparation in place" following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

In the press conference communicating the decision not to declare a PHEIC yet, director-general Ghebreyesus announced that 584 cases had so far been reported to World Health Organization, including 17 deaths. There have been cases reported by travelers from countries outside of China, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and the United States - and it sounds like authorities are extremely anxious this pneumonia-like virus can't be contained.

The viral outbreak started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but has since spread to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and the US.

The WHO case definitions include standards for patients with severe acute respiratory infection as well as acute respiratory illness. All of the patients have respiratory symptoms and had recently traveled to the Wuhan section of China, where the virus originated, according to the report.

At the time of writing, 17 people have been confirmed dead due to the virus and there are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus, the BBC reports.

Probable cases are defined as suspect cases where novel coronavirus testing is inconclusive or testing was positive on a pan-coronavirus assay. Confirmed cases are defined by laboratory confirmation of novel coronavirus infection. She also noted that clinicians can use IDSA resources to monitor the situation.

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