İrem UZUN -TDO- The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday urged all health ministers to improve data-sharing on coronavirus immediately and said he would send a team of international experts to work with Chinese counterparts. The U.N. agency was sending masks, gloves, respirators and nearly 18,000 isolation gowns from its warehouses to some two dozen countries that need support, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told it’s Executive Board. "There's a "window of opportunity" to halt the spread of the virus," he said and urged countries to immediately share information about cases.
China's National Health Commission reported Tuesday that the nationwide total of coronavirus infections had reached 20,438, with 3,235 new cases confirmed. China's nationwide death toll currently stands at 425. At least 180 cases of the virus have been identified outside of China, including 12 confirmed cases in Germany. A healthcare worker in Wuhan says the hospitals are so overwhelmed that they are not able to diagnose every case. There have been 20,471 confirmed cases of coronavirus in China, with 176 cases in 24 other countries, and one death, in the Philippines, according to the WHO's latest figures.
"This is still and foremost an emergency for China," Tedros said, noting that 99% of cases are in China and 97% of deaths are in Hubei province, including the epicenter of Wuhan city. Hong Kong reported its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, the second outside mainland China from a fast-spreading outbreak that has killed 427 people and threatened the global economy. So far 27 cases of person-to-person spread of the virus have been documented in nine countries outside of China, WHO officials said. The overall public health cost of the response from February to April is estimated at $675 million, which does not include the social or economic consequences of the outbreak, said Scott Pendergast, WHO director of strategic planning and partnerships.