The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the coronavirus outbreak cannot be described as pandemic even though it remains a global public health emergency.
The deadly virus has claimed 425 lives so far, with over 20,000 reported cases in China and 158 cases outside the country.
WHO made the declaration in Geneva on Tuesday during its conference, saying the agency was optimistic that the deadly virus would be handled.
Though they acknowledge it was challenging to contain the virus because of its global mass movement in nature, but the disease it said is still considered an epidemic with multiple locations.
Dr.Sylvie Briand, the WHO Director of Infectious Hazards Management Department said “we are not in a pandemic”
However, he added the agency will try to extinguish the transmission in each of these believing the containment measure in place will be able to arrest the situation.
Briand said the current control in place includes early case detection, early isolation and treatment of every case identified, contact tracing and social detention measures in places where there is a risk of transmission.
He revealed these are the core elements of any outbreak response and might be enough to stop an infection from becoming pervasive.
According to WHO, there is a window opportunity for the agency to arrest the situation before it becomes wider global crises.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General admitted that steps taken by the Chinese government were the best way to arrest the spread of the epidemic.
These came after Chinese officials were criticized for their initial handling of the outbreak