The death toll from the coronavirus soared past 360 on February 3, exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, although SARS killed a higher percentage of people infected. During the telebriefing, Messonnier stressed that there's likely to be more cases of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus in the US, which is awaiting the test results of some 82 suspected cases.
A 44-year-old Chinese man from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, traveled to the Philippines and died there on Saturday, the Philippines' Department of Health said.
What makes the dark joke even darker is the fact that the World Health Organization chief traveled to China last week to discuss the outbreak with the country leaders - and, therefore, no one can be really sure it's really "not corona".
A view of a patients' room in Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan.
Foreign nationals, those who are not United States citizens and not immediately family of USA citizens who have been to China in the last two weeks.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also commented on the additional evacuations, saying the U.S.is working with Beijing officials to coordinate the flights, which reportedly may include citizens from other countries, The New York Times reported.
The Chinese government has accused the U.S. of causing "panic" in its response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. A designation originally reserved exclusively for Wuhan, the increased level urges people to avoid travel to all areas of China.
Coronavirus has now surpassed the 2003 Sars outbreak in deadliness, with 362 fatalities recorded as of today by Johns Hopkins University, and 17,485 confirmed cases, nearly all in China.
Local TV reports said 1,400 Chinese army medical staff, some with experience of infectious diseases, were arriving in Wuhan and being transferred to the new site.
Struggling to contain the virus, authorities took action in the eastern city of Wenzhou on Sunday, closing roads and confining people to their homes. USA citizens who have visited Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, will be quarantined when re-entering the country.
Those who traveled to China, Hong Kong or Macau in the last 14 days would also be banned, the Inquirer said.
"We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent", he told the WHO Executive Board, reiterating his earlier message.
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the United States enacted strict travel restrictions on people coming in from China.