Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

The World Health Organization Named The New Coronavirus "COVID-19"

The World Health Organization Named The New Coronavirus

China reported on Wednesday its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in almost two weeks, lending weight to a forecast by its foremost medical adviser for the outbreak to end by April - but a global expert warned it was only beginning elsewhere.

In a positive development, the number of new cases has fallen in Hubei for two straight days with some 1,600 reported, according to figures from the National Health Commission.

However, one of the government's top epidemiologists says the number of patients could spike again.

China is struggling to restart its economy after the annual Lunar New Year holiday was extended to try to curb the spread of the virus.

There was a happy ending in sight for another cruise ship, the MS Westerdam, which Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines had refused to let dock over fears one of its 1,455 passengers and 802 crew may have the virus.

The biggest cluster of cases outside China is on a cruise ship quarantined off Japan's coast. These include a sharply slowing domestic economy, the trade war with the USA and push-back on China's increasingly aggressive foreign policies.

Authorities avoided using the word "quarantine", instead saying that people are being isolated in their homes during the illness' 14-day incubation period, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He confessed that the coronavirus has proven to be more contagious than medical experts predicted, but there is already a gradual reduction in viral infection numbers in several parts of the country.

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The number of officially diagnosed coronavirus cases in China surged after Hubei began adding cases that were confirmed via imaging scans, alongside those confirmed with the previous method of testing kits.

"We think that the issue at the stage, can be explained by one reagent that isn't performing as it should, consistently", she said, referring to one the substances used in the kit. "The problem of human-to-human transmission has not yet been resolved".

In revealing the name at a press conference, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said that the organization picked a name that does not refer to China's central city Wuhan - the epicenter of the pneumonia-like illness - or the country based on global agreements. "The target of defeating the epidemic will not be reached", Cong said at a news conference.

The novel Coronavirus outbreak has caused alarm as it has crossed global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic.

"This is so that patients can receive standardised treatment according to confirmed cases as early as possible to further improve the success rate of treatment".

Sam Wong, right, who owns 66 Hotpot, a family-run restaurant in the bustling district of Mongkok, takes the temperature of a member of staff outside his restaurant in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

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