WHO Declares Coronavirus Outbreak A 'Global Pandemic'

Update (1445ET): After WHO Director Tedros didn’t say the words ‘global emergency’ in the first two minutes of the WHO’s Thursday press conference, stocks jumped, but were quickly stymied when he finally got around to the announce after a lengthy preamble: The WHO has officially declared the coronavirus a ‘ Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).’

Once again, the director emphasized the fact that there haven’t been any recorded deaths outside China, while praising Beijing’s response, an obvious attempt to soften the blow.

And there goes stocks…

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After a brief delay, the WHO is finally ready to hold a press conference to discuss the outcome of its third straight emergency session.

A few hours ago, the CDC confirmed the first case of human-to-human transmission in the US, bringing the total number of countries that have recorded human-to-human cases to four (Germany, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the US).

The WHO is now widely expected to label the nCoV breakout a global pandemic, potentially triggering another leg lower in stocks.

The press conference which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, where the organization is based, will be led by Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus. Many suspect that he will finally acquiesce to labeling the nCoV outbreak a ‘ Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).’

WHO twice decided against embracing the label last week.


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