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WATCH: WHO says data shows decline in new COVID-19 cases

China has reported 74,675 cases of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO), including 2,121 deaths, the organization’s director-general told a news conference in Geneva, detailing the latest figures on the epidemic.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said the data from China continued to show a decline in new confirmed cases, adding that whilst the trend was encouraging “this is no time for complacency.”

Tedros added that “outside China there are now 1,076 cases in 26 countries with a total of seven deaths.”

He said Iran had in the past 24 hours reported five cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

Of all cases outside China, more than half are among passengers of the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, docked at the Japanese harbour of Yokohama.

The first passengers have now disembarked, providing they have a negative test, no symptoms and no contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days, Tedros said.

He added that passengers had been advised to stay home, monitor their temperature for a further 14 days and call a special hotline if they had any concerns.

Chinese health officials expressed new optimism Thursday over the deadly virus outbreak while authorities in South Korea’s fourth-largest city urged residents to hunker down as vacillating fears nagged communities far from the illness’ epicenter.

The confidence voiced by China’s government came as it reported a reduced number of new infections.

But doubts remained about the true trajectory of the epidemic as China again changed its method of counting and new threats emerged outside the country.