The Latest: WHO director-general: ‘Containment is feasible’

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the new coronavirus outbreak (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

The director-general of the World Health Organization said there is still time to stop the surging global epidemic of COVID-19, saying “containment is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries.”

In a press briefing Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan were now the agency’s “greatest concern.”

He described the new coronavirus as a “unique” virus capable of community transmission but that unlike flu, it could be contained with the right measures.

He declined to describe the global outbreak as a pandemic, saying the evidence did not yet support that. He added that current concerns and worries about the virus were understandable but cautioned that “let’s really calm down and do the right things” to contain the outbreak.


Speaking at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the coronavirus risk to Americans remains low, adding “we’re ready for anything.”

This week Pence, as the head of the coronavirus task force, will be meeting with aviation industry officials Wednesday. He will visit Minnesota-based 3M Thursday and will meet with cruise industry representatives in Florida on Saturday.

President Donald Trump will meet with representatives of large pharmaceutical companies later Monday. he said the meeting had been on his schedule to address drug prices, but the coronavirus will now be the top agenda item at the meeting.


12:15 p.m.

U.S. health officials updated the nation’s count of coronavirus cases to 91 on Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the count includes 45 infections among people who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is one more than previously reported. It includes people who tested positive after returning from travel to outbreak areas in other parts of the world, their close contacts and what appear to be infections from community spread — people who did not travel and did not have known contact with other infected people.

Seventeen of the U.S. cases have been hospitalized, and two have died.

Ten states have reported cases.

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