The World Health Organization on Thursday declared that the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was a global health emergency, acknowledging that the disease now represents a risk beyond China, where it emerged last month.
The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.
The death toll now stands at 170 people in China.
The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 countries outside of the country, but no deaths.
Most cases have emerged in people who have travelled from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began.
However, there have been eight cases of human-to-human infection – in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States.
Dr Tedros, speaking at the press conference in Geneva, described the virus as an “unprecedented outbreak” that has been met with an “unprecedented response”.
He praised the “extraordinary measures” Chinese authorities had taken to prevent it from spreading.
“Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” he added.
Researchers are racing to develop a vaccine to protect people from the virus. One lab in California has plans for a potential vaccine to enter human trials by June or July.
more recommended stories
Donald Trump launches social media platform called Truth Social
After being banned from several social.
Health experts warn Boris Johnson of pending Covid crisis
Health experts have warned British Prime.
N Korea fires suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile
North Korea launched a ballistic missile.
Former U.S Secretary of State Colin Powell Dies From COVID
Colin Powell, the first Black U.S..
Bill clinton back home after hospitalization from infection
ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Bill Clinton.
British MP stabbed to death in terrorist linked attack
A British Member of Parliament (MP).
Former United States president Bill Clinton hospitalized
Former United States President Bill Clinton.
U.K. Former Health Secretary Handed Africa Role After Covid Failings
UK former health secretary Matt Hancock,.