China has reported 70,635 cases of the deadly new virus spreading across Asia to the World Health Organisation, including 1,772 deaths, according a statement by the Director-General of the World Health Organization on Monday.
Speaking to a news conference in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO had received reports of 694 cases from 25 countries and 3 deaths.
He also said as more data comes in from China, officials are beginning to understand the outbreak and “how it’s developing and where it could be headed.”
However, despite data showing a decline in new cases globally, Tedros said there was still reason to be cautious.
“This trend must be interpreted very cautiously. Trends can change as new populations are affected. It’s too early to tell if this reported decline will continue, every scenario is still on the table”, he said.
He also repeated the call he he had made at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday to invest in preparedness for viral outbreaks like the one seen in China before they happen.
“We have a window of opportunity now. We need resources now. To ensure countries are prepared now”, he said, adding: “We don’t know how long this window of opportunity will remain open. Let’s not squander it.”