The World Health Organization addressed ways to prevent the further spread of novel coronavirus as new cases were reported on Wednesday.
Watch the WHO discussion on novel coronavirus stream live in the video player above.
In China, 132 people have died from novel coronavirus, and more than 6,000 people have been diagnosed with confirmed cases, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom. Outside of China, 68 people have confirmed cases in 15 countries where no one has died from the virus, he said.
The WHO will reconvene the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Geneva time, or 7:30 a.m. ET. Last week, the WHO postponed declaring novel coronavirus a global public health emergency, saying more information was needed before health officials could issue such a call.
Today’s reported numbers rose significantly over the last 24 hours. In its numbers released Tuesday, WHO said 4,593 cases have been identified worldwide. Of those, the vast majority — 4,537 people — were sick with the flu-like illness in China, where the virus originated, and 106 people had died, according to those Wednesday numbers.
“There is no scientist or sage on the planet who will tell you when the peak will occur,” said Michael Ryan, executive director for WHO Health Emergencies Programme. “We need to not focus on where the peak is but on our actions in the coming days and weeks.”
Health officials urged the public to take small steps to prevent further human-to-human transmission. The virus may spread through airborne droplets spewed when a person sneezes or coughs without covering their nose or mouth. Health officials in recent days have urged “good respiratory etiquette,” washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If a person develops respiratory symptoms and recently has traveled to China, they should see their physician immediately, according to Nancy Messonnier, the director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.