411 – – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

Fewer new cases of the coronavirus are now reported each day inside China than outside it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday, Feb 26.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told diplomats in Geneva on Tuesday that the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded new cases reported by Beijing for the first time, according to a written version of his speech.

On Tuesday, the UN health agency put the number of new cases in China at 411 and those registered outside the country at 427.

However, the virus can still be contained and does not amount to a pandemic, Tedros said.

Infections linked to Iran have been confirmed in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman, while cases tied to Italy have been found in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, Tedros said.

South Korea has the most cases outside China.

With 1,261 cases, it reported 284 new ones including a U.S. soldier.

Authorities there plan to test more than 200,000 members of a church at the centre of the outbreak.

The virus can still be controlled, Tedros said;

He said: “We should not be too eager to declare a pandemic without a careful and clear-minded analysis of the facts.”

He stressed that such a declaration could “signal that we can no longer contain the virus, which is not true”.

“We are in a fight that can be won if we do the right things,” he said

But he insisted that WHO would not hesitate to declare a pandemic “if it is an accurate description of the situation.”

“I am not downplaying the seriousness of the situation, or the potential for this to become a pandemic, because it has that potential,” he said.

However, this latest development is not new as it has already been predicted:

S’pore’s first 30 days of Covid-19: Brace yourselves for third round of infections from outside China

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