The World Health Organization declared Thursday that the outbreak of the coronavirus in China is a public health emergency of international concern.
WHO took the decision, which is the highest level of warning following a meeting with an independent panel of experts amid growing evidence of the spread of the human virus outside China in about 18 countries.
"We don't know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were spread in a country with a weaker health system," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO alert is an invitation to countries around the world to coordinate their response under the guidelines of the United Nations.
The Chinese authorities have announced the deaths of 170 persons from pneumonia caused by the coronavirus more and infection of 7,700. (QNA)
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