- The World Health Organization warned that “the window of opportunity is narrowing” to contain the deadly coronavirus.
- His comments came as cases surge in South Korea and the country admitted it failed to stop the virus coming into the country. It now says it is trying to contain the virus.
- South Korea now has more than 430 cases compared to 156 on Friday, while Iran reported four deaths and countries like Israel and Lebannon are reporting their first cases.
- Chinese researchers have also confirmed that people can spread the virus without showing any symptoms.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The World Health Organization warned that “the window of opportunity is narrowing” to contain the deadly coronavirus that originated in China as cases in other countries soar.
The virus first originated in the city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, and has gone on to kill at least 2,360 people and infect more than 77,700 people around the world.
It has also spread to at least 30 other countries, though the vast majority of cases and deaths have remained in mainland China.
But some other countries reported soars in the number of cases at the end of this week, particularly in South Korea, where cases ballooned over four days, making it the country outside of China with the most cases.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that there was still a chance to contain the coronavirus, but said “but the window of opportunity is narrowing,” CNN reported.
He said: “We must not look back and regret that we failed to take advantage of the window of opportunity we have.”
According to The Guardian, he said: “This outbreak could go in any direction.”
“If we do well, we can avert any serious crisis, but if we squander the opportunity then we will have a serious problem on our hands.”
As of Saturday morning, 15 deaths and more than 1,500 cases of infection had been recorded outside of China.
South Korea recorded a total of 433 confirmed cases as of the end of Friday, rising by 229 in just one day.
Two people with the coronavirus have now died in South Korea, and the country on Friday accepted that its efforts to stop the deadly coronavirus from taking hold in the country had failed. It said it would switch its strategy to containment.
The government has taken steps including urging the 2.5 million people in the city Daegu to stay in their homes and banning some public gatherings.
Officials are testing more than 9,000 of a religious groups at the heart of one of the outbreaks in South Korea, meaning the number of infected could climb much higher.
And four people have now died of the coronavirus in Iran, where health authorities say it has spread to multiple cities.
Italy also reported its first death from the virus on Friday, while Israel and Lebanon both confirmed their first cases on Friday.
Cases have now been recorded across Asia, North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia.
China locked down millions of people by imposing quarantine measures on cities, and imposed travel restrictions on more than 700 million people in its bid to stop the virus spread.
Some airlines have cancelled flights to parts of China, while airports around the world imposed screening and quarantine measures to try and stop the virus spreading.
Chinese researchers have also now confirmed that people can spread the virus without showing any symptoms. A woman who had clear CT scans but no symptoms passed the virus to five of her relatives.
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: What’s inside these 8 unique creatures