World Health Organization no longer uses 'pandemic' category, but COVID-19 still emergency

Daniel Fowler
February 27, 2020

That's according to the White House budget office, which said the funds are for vaccines, treatment, and protective equipment.

China still has the vast majority of cases, but as it records lower levels of new infections, attention has shifted to new fronts in the outbreak.

Despite showing signs of stabilizing in China, where fewer new infections are being reported, worries are growing elsewhere.

Iran's outbreak surfaced Wednesday and quickly grew to 43 confirmed infections.

The WHO already declared a public health emergency of global concern, its "highest level of alarm", last month when there were fewer than 100 cases outside China and 8 cases of human-to-human transmission of the Covid-19 virus that started in China.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday raised the country's virus alert to the highest "red" level, to strengthen the government response to the spiralling outbreak. The other 22 cases came from people who were extradited from China by the state department, either in one of the three flights of Americans who were living in China at the time of the outbreak or in the people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Italy became the first European country to report one of its nationals had died from the virus on Friday, followed by a second death on Saturday.

This comes as it was announced that South Korea has the largest number of confirmed cases outside of mainland China, with some 830 people having contracted the disease and eight having died.

China says it is postponing its most important political meeting of the year.

Xi claimed on Sunday the outbreak would have a relatively big, but limited-term, effects on the economy and the govt would step up coverage changes to assist cushion the blow. Seven people have died.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said necessary treatment tools such as respiratory support machines are "in short supply in many African countries and that's a cause for concern". Almost 80,000 people have been infected worldwide, the vast majority in China.

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They said they were not included in the planning effort and wanted to know how the local community would be protected from the possible spread of the virus that has spread globally.

The judge has issued a temporary restraining order and has scheduled a hearing for Monday.

More than 50,000 people in about a dozen northern Italian towns have been told to stay home, and police set up checkpoints to enforce a blockade. But officials still haven't pinpointed the origin of the contagion, which prompted Austria to temporarily halt rail traffic across the border.

The stock market reaction to the outbreak had so far been rather muted, and USA stocks have notched a string of record highs.

More than 50% of cases in South Korea are related to those two outbreaks.

USA stock futures dropped significantly, responding to the global surge in the cases, pointing to a lower open in the regular session when the markets kickstart this week a few hours later.

Italy's benchmark FTSE MIB index was down 4.2% at 23,733.75 in early trade at press time.

Tokyo's markets are closed for a public holiday.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases among members of the Shincheonji religious sect, in the southeastern city of Daegu, has increased, as well as in a hospital in the neighboring town of Cheongdo.

China's leaders promised more help for companies and the economy.

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