Coronavirus: No country will be spared, WHO warns

All countries need to prepare to combat the deadly coronavirus, the World Health Organization has said, as authorities raced to contain the epidemic’s rapid global spread.

With new infections reported around the world now surpassing those in mainland China, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said even rich nations should prepare.

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“No country should assume it won’t get cases, that would be a fatal mistake, quite literally,” Tedros said, pointing to Italy, where 17 people have died in Europe’s worst outbreak.

In addition to stockpiling medical supplies, governments ordered schools shut and canceled big gatherings, including sports events, to try to halt spread of the flu-like disease known as COVID-19 that emerged in central China more than two months ago from an illegal wildlife market.

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The death rate appears to be around 2 percent, although it could be lower if there are many mild, undiagnosed cases, experts say.

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