China marked its most fatal day yet during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak Thursday as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a global health emergency.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Chinese authorities reported more than 40 deaths Thursday, all of them in Hubei, the province at the center of the outbreak of which Wuhan is the capital, bringing the total death toll to 213, with almost 10,000 cases confirmed worldwide.
As of Thursday night, there were more than 9,600 coronavirus cases confirmed in China, authorities said, an increase of almost 2,000 from the previous day. That surpasses the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that began in southern China, which infected 8,098 people worldwide, killing 774.