Japan, 3 Other Nations "Greatest Concern" over COVID-19: WHO

Berlin, March 2 (Jiji Press)--The pneumonia epidemics of the new coronavirus infection in Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran are the World Health Organization's "greatest concern," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.

Tedros told a press conference in Geneva that a WHO expert team arrived in Iran the same day to cooperate with the Iranian government in responding to the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases.

The WHO chief said there were close to nine times more infection cases reported outside China, the epicenter of the outbreak, than inside the country in the last 24 hours.

The WHO "will not hesitate" to describe the situation as a pandemic if that is what the evidence suggests, the director-general said.

At the same time, Tedros said some 90 pct of all reported cases in the world are in China, suggesting that the outbreak cannot be considered a pandemic, or a worldwide spread, at the moment.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press