Update (1111ET): After some confusion about the timing, the WHO's Wednesday press conference has begun, competing directly with President Trump's signing of the USMCA trade deal.
HO's Tedros said: the decision to reconvene emergency panel is based mainly on the evidence of increasing numbers of cases, and on evidence for human to human transmission that has occurred outside of China.
China is sharing virus data with researchers around the world despite reports that they've been holding back
WHO's Mike Ryan adds: very impressed with the level of Chinese engagement at all levels and fight against coronavirus.
After WHO officials praised China's transparency about the virus outbreak, a reporter questioned the WHO about Beijing's decision to hold back on releasing information to the public. The WHO's Director-General insisted that China and Wuhan local authorities have been completely transparent, citing "red alerts" on a local website. Even after reports claimed government scientists knew about the virus as early as Dec. 1, Tedros said authorities have been providing comprehensive updates since Dec. 31.
Of course, the reporter isn't just talking about sharing information with the community - he's talking about sharing information with the international community. Also, case counts aren't the only vital piece of information: Beijing withheld evidence of human-to-human transmission, as well as evidence that health-care workers were getting sick.
But if the world believes China truly has this outbreak "contained", then the risk to global markets will evaporate.
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The WHO is still apparently took worried about the fragility of global equity markets to finally acknowledge that the novel coronavirus outbreak has metastasized into a global pandemic.
A press conference that was supposed to be held Wednesday afternoon in Switzerland was postponed, and then postponed again. Now, the organization is saying it plans to reconvene its emergency committee meeting on Thursday.
The press conference hasn't yet been cancelled. Instead, it's been moved to 2 pm (where it will compete directly with Jerome Powell).
Meanwhile, the WHO's Director-General tweeted Wednesday that the organization had made an embarrassing error in its 'situation report' published earlier this week. Due to a "human error", the word "moderate" was wrongly inserted in the organizations' risk assessment of the coronavirus, basically admitting that they mistakenly played down the severity of the crisis.
WHO deeply regrets the error in this week's situation report, which inserted the word “moderate” inaccurately in the #coronavirus global risk assessment. This was a human error in preparing the report. I have repeatedly stated the high risk of the outbreak https://t.co/Qp871ObmdE— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 29, 2020
In a second tweet, he said the Emergency Committee would have "more news" tomorrow.
.@WHO is monitoring the new #coronavirus outbreak every moment of every day. My respect and appreciation to my colleagues @WHO who are showing great commitment. We will have more news following tomorrow’s Emergency Committee meeting.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 29, 2020
Dr. Ghebreyesus has just returned from Beijing, where he met with senior Chinese officials and praised Beijing's response to the outbreak However, the local officials who have been set up by Beijing for scapegoating claimed yesterday that their hands were initially tied by Beijing.