Feb 28, 2020 - Health

WHO raises global coronavirus risk to "very high"

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle with containing spread of the virus.

The big picture: This week, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized how countries' responses can make or break the chances of preventing more cases. Today, he said the alert "is a reality check for every government. ... The window of opportunity is closing. Wake up."

Go deeper: Full coverage of the coronavirus

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Trump weighs plan to label counties by coronavirus "risk" level

Trump at a White House coronavirus task force briefing on March 25. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Trump administration is developing a plan to label counties across the country as "high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk" areas for the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump said in a letter to the nation's governors on Thursday.

Why it matters: Against the warnings of health experts, Trump is pushing for parts of the country to lift social distancing restrictions over the next few weeks and months, believing that the economic toll of an extended quarantine will be more damaging than the virus itself.

Cuomo: Coronavirus risk remains low despite first confirmed case in N.Y.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday there's "no reason for undue anxiety" after a woman in her late 30s became the first in the state to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

Details: Per Cuomo, the woman contracted the virus in Iran, which has now reported nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases. She has since been put into isolation after the Wadsworth Lab in Albany confirmed the results. "[T]he general risk remains low in New York," Cuomo said. "We are diligently managing this situation," he said.

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G7 statement scrapped after U.S. insisted coronavirus be called "Wuhan virus"

Pompeo briefs reporters Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign ministers of the G7 countries failed to agree to a joint statement following a video conference Wednesday in part because the Trump administration insisted the statement refer to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan virus," Der Spiegel first reported and multiple U.S. outlets have confirmed.

Why it matters: The world's two most powerful countries are in a battle of narratives over the pandemic, with some in Beijing spreading disinformation about its origins and U.S. officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo increasingly blaming the Chinese government.

Go deeperArrowMar 25, 2020 - World