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Coronavirus: WHO steps back from declaring public health emergency

International body to meet again on Thursday to discuss ‘evolving and complex situation’ as China reports 17 deaths

The World Health Organization has stepped back from declaring the growing viral pneumonia outbreak in China to be a public health emergency of international concern, saying its expert committee would meet again on Thursday to discuss more evidence from its teams on the ground.

“This is an evolving and complex situation,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO. “Today there was an excellent discussion but it was also clear that to proceed we need more information.

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