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Coronavirus Cases Should Be Flagged in 1 Day, WHO Officials Say

World Health Organization nations should investigate suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus as a matter of urgency and report any probable infections within 24 hours of classification, health officials said.

In a bid to contain the virus that has already killed at least 38 people, any cluster of pneumonia with unusual clinical presentation should be probed as well as any immune-compromised patient or healthcare worker with unusual signs of acute respiratory infection, according to the plan endorsed by more than 100 health officials at a WHO meeting in Cairo.

“At the moment we have an important window where cases have still been relatively few and human transmission is relatively limited,” Keiji Fukuda, WHO assistant director-general, said in a statement after the meeting at the United Nations agency. “We need to exploit this chance to agree and implement the best public health measures possible across the board.” The Geneva-based WHO has 194 member states.

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