PUBLISHED: 16:03, Fri, Feb 14, 2020 | UPDATED: 16:21, Fri, Feb 14, 2020
Although coronavirus (COVID-19) infections are still rising around the world, a health expert has claimed there is evidence disease transmission outside China might not be the feared tip of the “iceberg”. Dr Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme chief has urged against making hasty assessments about coronavirus.
He said on Thursday, February 14: “We’re not seeing a dramatic increase in transmission outside China.
We’re not seeing a dramatic increase in transmission outside China
Dr Michael Ryan
Of the reported 1,400 deaths from the coronavirus to date, all but two have been in China.
China’s Hubei province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak reported 116 new deaths from the virus to the end of Thursday, according to a statement published today.
This follows a sharp increase on the previous day’s tally, meaning there were 4,823 new cases, including 3,095 clinical diagnoses, to take the total for Hubei to 51,986.
Dr Ryan added there had been two deaths and 447 cases in 24 countries outside China.
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On Thursday Japan announced its first coronavirus death - a woman in her 80s who lived in Kanagawa, south-west of Tokyo.
The woman’s diagnosis was confirmed after her death and she had no known link to Hubei province.
The biggest cluster outside China is on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is in quarantine in Yokohama port, Japan.
Dr Ryan added 218 passengers on board have so far tested positive for COVID-19.
Other cruise ships in the South China Sea