The World Health Organization convened outside experts Tuesday to fast-track promising tests, drugs and vaccines to help slow the outbreak of a new virus that emerged in China that has killed more than 1,000 people and spread to two dozen other countries.
China reported some grim milestones Tuesday as President Xi Jinping appeared on TV touring a hospital in Beijing and declaring that "we will most definitely win this people's war" against the coronavirus that has spread around the world from Wuhan, a city of 11 million in China's Hubei province.
An advance team for a WHO-led worldwide expert mission arrived in China as the country struggles to contain a viral epidemic that has now infected more than 42,000 and reached some 25 countries.
The central province of Hubei, which has been at the center of the epidemic, said it has seen 103 new deaths and 2,097 new infections, bringing the totals across the mainland to 1,011 and over 42,000, respectively.
"WHO is working to keep laboratories with the capacity to rapidly diagnose cases".
"We now have a name for the disease and it's COVID-19", World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.
Most cases overseas have involved people who had been in Wuhan, the quarantined central Chinese city where the virus emerged late past year, or people infected by others who had been at the epicentre.
"But for now it's only a spark".
WHO Headquarters main conference room. "To defeat this outbreak, we need open and equitable sharing, according to the principles of fairness and equity", Dr Tedros told the scientific conference.
The ship has been in quarantine since arriving off the Japanese coast early last week after the virus was detected in a former passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong.
In the provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the crisis, the mortality rate stands at over four per cent, official statistics reported.
It was announced they will be replaced by the deputy director of China's National Health Commission, Wang Hesheng.
Wuhan authorities also faced criticism in January for going ahead with an annual public banquet for 40,000 families just days before the city was placed on lockdown.
The death of a whistleblowing doctor from Wuhan has sparked calls for political reform in China.