The World Health Organization says it is uncertain whether the coronavirus outbreak can be prevented from spreading further globally, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The newspaper noted this comes as there are heightened concerns about growing outbreaks in Italy, Iran and South Korea.
The Journal noted that Italy was one of the most proactive counties in trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It had declared a state of emergency on Jan. 31 and stopped all flights to and from China. Yet, there are at least 229 cases in Italy.
South Korea confirmed 893 cases on Tuesday. In Daegu, South Korea hospitals say they don’t have enough medical professionals to keep up with the outbreak.
“We can’t last long like this,” said Nam Sung-il, a doctor treating patients. “All medical staff will burn out.”
In Iran, the death toll jumped to at least 12. Schools have been closed in Iran. Movie theaters and other venues have been shut down through at least Friday.
“I don’t think it can be contained at this point,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
But WHO officials said it is not clear yet about a further worldwide spread of the coronavirus.
“We are encouraged by the continued decline in (new) cases in China,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general. “The key message that should give all countries hope, courage and confidence is that this virus can be contained.”
Still, he urged other countries to prepare for outbreaks.
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