Beijing (China) | Jagran News Desk: As the death toll due to the novel coronavirus reached 1,665, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the deadly COVID-19 virus is still an ‘emergency’.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised China’s efforts to contain the virus spread but added that he was still concerned about the increasing number of cases.

The number of confirmed cases of the deadly Wuhan virus has jumped to 68,500, said China’s National Health Commission. On Sunday, it confirmed 2,009 new cases across the country.

The Chinese officials, however, said that the number of new cases appears to have started dropping, saying efforts to control the outbreak have reached the “most crucial stage”.

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Experts from the WHO are also expected in Beijing on Sunday to join Chinese health authorities in containing the virus, which has spread to several other countries forcing them to temporarily stop tourist arrivals from China.

The health commission said a joint mission with WHO experts will pay field visits to China's three provincial-level regions to learn the effectiveness of the epidemic control measures.

One task of the mission will be to come up with standard medicine to cure the disease, according to the health commission.

Several antiviral drugs are under clinical trials and Chinese researchers have narrowed down their focus to a few existing drugs, including Chloroquine Phosphate, Favipiravir and Remdesivir, said Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Centre for Biotechnology Development.

Experts have asked people to frequently wash hands and face, and wear masks.

Authorities have begun quarantining large quantity of bank notes and coins in the affected areas and sanitising them with UV light before releasing them back into circulation to stop the virus from spreading.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma