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World currently 'not in a pandemic' of China virus: WHO

Sylvie Briand, director of global infectious hazard preparedness at the World Health Organization (WHO), said: "Currently we are not in a pandemic", we are at a phase where we have an epidemic of coronavirus with multiple foci and we try to extinguish each of these foci.

She also said the WHO was working with different countries on repatriation of people from China, having "intense discussions to see how we can harmonise the practices".

Briand said the WHO currently has no evidence of mutation of the virus, adding that "it is quite a stable virus".

The virus has killed hundreds and infected thousand in China.

Hong Kong has reported its first death from the coronavirus on Tuesday - only the second outside China - as the death toll from the outbreak rose to at least 425 and China admitted "shortcomings and difficulties" in its response to the flu-like infection.

China's National Health Commission reported 64 new fatalities as of midnight on Monday - the biggest daily increase since the virus was first detected late last year.

Countries around the world braced up with different measures ranging from evacuations of their nationals, advice their citizens to suspend any travel to the Asian country for now  and suspension of flights to and fro China among other tough measures.

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