Alarm is also growing as China is no longer the only breeding ground for COVID-19, with other countries including South Korea and Italy becoming hotbeds of infection, raising fears of a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides testing and also confirms positive test results from state labs, says it has run fewer than 500 tests.
Tedros said there were epidemics of COVID-19 in several countries, but most cases could be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases. The case has raised hard questions about whom to test and whether the nation is prepared to keep the virus under control.
The report, which is based on analysis of data the WHO and Chinese health authorities gathered from February 16-24, said human-to-human transmission is largely occurring in families.
USA health officials on Friday reported a fourth case of novel coronavirus of unknown origin, indicating the disease was spreading in the country.
The WHO Chief added: "We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities". Another four people, Rivkees said, were still under investigation.
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The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is considered small.
"Because of these limited resources, we could not get some of our patients tested", said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Worldwide more than 85,000 people have been infected and over 2,900 have died. "We have been anticipating the potential for such a case in the USA, and given our close familial, social and business relationships with China, it is not unexpected that the first case in the USA would be in California", says Sonia Angell, the director of the California Department of Public Health, in a statement.
COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets and fomites during close unprotected contact with those who are infected with the virus.
The Commission said that it received reports of 327 new confirmed cases and 44 deaths on Thursday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. These labs are strictly regulated under CLIA and by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and they have successfully developed tests for use in serious health conditions in the past - for example, HIV, the association explained.