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WHO Says Coronavirus Remains Local Chinese Emergency for Now

  • UN agency opts against declaring global public health crisis
  • Infections spread to several countries, including Singapore
Didier Houssin speaks during a press conference  in Geneva, on Jan. 22.

Didier Houssin speaks during a press conference  in Geneva, on Jan. 22.

Photographer: Pierre Albouy/AFP via Getty Images
Updated on

The World Health Organization stopped short of calling the new coronavirus from central China a global health emergency, saying the outbreak that’s killed more than a dozen people and sickened hundreds remains a local crisis.

Public heath experts gathered by the United Nations agency to review the situation were split over whether they should recommend declaring a public health crisis of international concern and instead opted to continue monitoring the outbreak. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general, said he would reconvene the committee within 10 days, or at a moment’s notice should the situation take a turn for the worse.