The novel coronavirus outbreak poses a "very grave threat for the rest of the world," said Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in an appeal for sharing virus samples and speeding up research into drugs and vaccines.
"With 99 per cent of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world," Ghebreyesus said in opening remarks to a meeting of more than 400 researchers and national authorities, including some participating by video conference from mainland China and Taiwan. Tedros said China so far has reported 42,708 confirmed cases, including 1,017 deaths, Al Jazeera reported.
A Beijing-based epidemiologist has said that the epidemic may peak in February and then plateau before easing.
The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak in China has now reached more than 1,000, after 108 people died from the virus on Monday, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began late last year.
In his first public appearance since the outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, President Xi Jinping told people that they "must have confidence" that the country will win its battle against the coronavirus epidemic.
Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China - one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines. At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. (ANI)