GENEVA: The majority of the novel coronavirus cases in China were considered "mild", the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday (Feb 7).
A breakdown of the 17,000 cases provided by Chinese authorities found that 82 per cent of the cases were mild, 15 per cent severe and 3 per cent critical, said WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove.
Referring to overall numbers, she added: "We know that 2 per cent – or less than 2 per cent now – of the reported cases have died."
At least 34,000 have now been infected globally by the virus, which has killed more than 700 people, mainly in China.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that some countries were still failing to share clinical data on confirmed cases of the virus and urged them to do so "immediately".
"We have a common enemy which is dangerous and which can bring serious upheaval, social, political and economic. This is the time to fight it and in unison," said Tedros, speaking to WHO's executive board on Friday.
Tedros also pointed out that between Wednesday and Thursday, the number of reported cases of the virus declined.
He said this was "good news but we caution against reading too much into that – the numbers could go up again".
Tedros added that there was a shortage of masks and other protective equipment against the novel virus.