The World Health Organization postponed making a decision Wednesday on whether the mysterious coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people and sickened hundreds of others in China is a global health emergency.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said physicians need more information and he’s asked his committee, which held an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, to reconvene on Thursday.
“Today, there was an excellent discussion during the committee meeting, but it was also clear that to proceed we need more information,” Tedros told about 150 reporters on a conference call that was delayed for almost two hours while the committee met.
Tedros said the emergency committee on Wednesday was split on whether to designate the illness a global health emergency. He said WHO has researchers on the ground in China collecting data.
“The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence,” Tedros said.