Jan 24, 2020 13:32 UTC
  • WHO expects coronavirus cases to rise in China

Cases of the new coronavirus are likely to continue to rise in China and it is too soon to evaluate its severity, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday (January 24).

"The issue is not so much really on numbers that we know will go up," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a Geneva news briefing, adding that Chinese health authorities had officially reported 830 confirmed cases and 25 deaths. "It's still too early to draw conclusions on how severe the virus is."

The WHO and its network of experts may look at treatments and vaccines against MERS for possible use against coronavirus, he said.

WHO said on Thursday it was "a bit too early" to declare the new coronavirus a global health emergency as China put millions of people on lockdown amid the outbreak.