“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” said the World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In a press conference in Geneva, WHO declared the novel contagious coronavirus (2019nCoV) outbreak a “global health emergency” after many people in many different countries got infected outside China.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” he said.
In the press conference, Dr Ghebreyesus repeatedly said that China is taking “extraordinary measures” to prevent the virus from spreading.
He urged the public to remain calm.
“This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours, “he added.