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‘Currently we are not in a pandemic’ because of coronavirus: WHO

jarun011/iStock(HONG KONG) — A 39-year-old man in Hong Kong has died of the coronavirus.In China, deaths rose to 425 and coronavirus cases reached 20,438.On Monday, in a surprising admission from China’s top leadership, the Politburo Standing Committee admitted to shortcomings and deficiencies in its emergency response to coronavirus. The committee ordered a severe crackdown on illegal wildlife markets, which is where the virus is believed to have jumped from humans to animals.Despite those numbers, the World Health Organization urged restraint during a Tuesday press conference.While the world is preparing for the possibility of a pandemic, or a worldwide spread of a new disease, we’re not at that point yet, said Sylvie Briand, director of global infectious hazard preparedness at WHO.”Currently we are not in a pandemic,” Briand stressed.In Japan, 3,711 people are quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of Yokohama after several passengers fell ill. Passengers and crew will be kept on board through Tuesday night until they can be screened for coronavirus.Around the world, airlines have suspended flights and countries have closed borders in response to the virus’ spread.In Macau, the world’s biggest gambling center, top officials ordered casinos to suspend operations for two weeks after a number of coronavirus cases were confirmed in Macau and neighboring Hong Kong. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.