WHO says window of opportunity to stem virus 'narrowing' as cases soar
The World Health Organization warned Friday that the window to stem the deadly coronavirus outbreak was shrinking, amid concern over a surge in cases with no clear link to China.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has for weeks insisted the low number of cases of COVID-19 outside the epicentre of the deadly outbreak in China's central Hubei province presented a "window of opportunity" to contain the international spread.
But as cases surged across the Middle East and in South Korea Friday, he cautioned for the first time that while "we are still in a phase where containment is possible... our window of opportunity is narrowing."
He warned that if countries did not quickly mobilise to fight the spread of the virus, "this outbreak could go in any direction. It could even be messy."