Coronavirus spreading fast outside China, airports to increase screenings

GENEVA/BEIJING (HRNW) – The new coronavirus appears to now be spreading much more rapidly outside China than within, and airports in hard-hit countries were ramping up screening of travelers.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said almost eight times as many cases had been reported outside China as inside in the previous 24 hours, adding that the risk of coronavirus spreading was now very high at a global level.

At a briefing in Geneva, he said outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan were the greatest concern, but that there was evidence that close surveillance was working in South Korea, the worst affected country outside China, and the epidemic could be contained there.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that within 12 hours, airports across South Korea and Italy will screen all travelers for coronavirus. Pence, who has been put in charge of the U.S. response to the outbreak, also said U.S. travel restrictions may expand.

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