The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday corrected its assessment of the coronavirus from “moderate” to “high”. That’s the word from an AFP report on Tuesday.
The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China and has already led to at least 106 deaths and over 4,515 confirmed cases including 976 serious cases. It has also spread to over a dozen other countries.
The WHO said on Sunday that the risk was “very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level." In previous days, it had “incorrectly” described the global risk as “moderate.” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib described it as “an error in the wording.” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has been traveling to China, said, “This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency.”
The WHO said that the assessment considers factors such as its global health risk, the seriousness of the disease, how fast it is spreading and the ability to deal with it.
The WHO has not declared an international health emergency for China’s virus. In recent years, the WHO has declared 5 global health emergencies: the H1N1 virus in 2009, the Polio and Ebola outbreaks in 2014, the Zika outbreak from 2015-2016 and the North Kivu Ebola outbreak in 2019.