Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, has spread to six continents and at least 49 countries since being discovered in Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the virus could reach most “if not all countries”.
On Friday, WHO officials increased their risk assessment of the coronavirus to “very high” across the world.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, revealed the update during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.
He said: “We have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level.”
In total, more than 83,000 people have been infected by the virus and at least 2,800 have died.
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Outside of China, there are 4,351 cases of coronavirus across 48 countries, including 67 deaths as of Friday morning.
New Zealand, Belarus, the Netherlands, and Lithuania confirmed their first cases on Friday.
Epidemics – a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time – have emerged in Iran, Italy and South Korea, where the number of cases are rapidly rising every day.
Tedros told reporters on Thursday: “We’re at a decisive point. The epidemics in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea demonstrate what this virus is capable of.”
As the virus continues to spread around the world, new data from SEMrush reveals how much interest there is now on the virus online here in the UK and across the globe.
The research discovered 124 million searched coronavirus worldwide in January, a percentage increase of more than 167,000 percent.
The SEMrush map showed most searches came from countries including Canada, US, Australia and Sweden.
There were no searches for coronavirus latest news until January where searches jumped to an average of 450,000 for that month alone.
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SEMrush also found coronavirus symptoms searches have increased from 1,600 to 13 million which indicates people’s fear.
The top third search globally is China virus which suggests many are associating the deadly virus with the country where it first started.
This is backed up by global searches for “China travel ban”, which has gone up more than 47,000 percent.
In the UK, coronavirus was searched over seven million times last month – p more than 300,000 percent from December 2019.
More than 130,000 people in the UK also searched for medical masks.
Other related search trends include corona travel ban and coronavirus treatment.
There were no searches for coronavirus latest news until January where searches jumped to an average of 49,500 for that month.
Brits searching ‘is it safe to travel to China’ has gone up more than 5,000 percent.
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