Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2020 shows an exterior view of the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO on Wednesday night extended to Thursday its emergency talks on whether the novel coronavirus outbreak in China constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). (Xinhua/Liu Qu)
Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2020 shows an exterior view of the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO on Wednesday night extended to Thursday its emergency talks on whether the novel coronavirus outbreak in China constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). (Xinhua/Liu Qu)

A total of 413,467 cases of COVID-19 were reported globally as of 10:00 CET (0900 GMT) Wednesday, according to the situation dashboard by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll from COVID-19 has climbed to 18,433, as the virus affected 196 countries and regions.

Outside China, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 331,619, among which nearly 240,000 cases were reported by the six most affected countries with over 20,000 cases each, namely Italy, the United States, Spain, Germany, Iran and France.

“The pandemic continues to take a massive toll not just on health, but on so many parts of life,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

Tedros noted many countries have introduced unprecedented measures at significant social and economic cost.

By asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement, Tedros said, those countries are buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems.

However, the WHO chief stressed these measures will not extinguish epidemics on their own. He reiterated the necessity of taking aggressive measures to find, isolate, test, treat and trace COVID-19 cases.

Noting over 150 countries and regions see fewer than 100 cases, Tedros said these countries and regions have the chance to prevent community transmission and avoid some of the more severe social and economic costs seen elsewhere. Enditem

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