[The stream is slated to start at 11:00 a.m. ET. Please refresh the page if you do not see a player above at that time.]
World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference Friday to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak and announce initiatives for quitting tobacco to help reduce risks of the virus.
The virtual press conference will be joined by Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, who is also president of the Union for International Cancer Control and global advocate for tobacco control, as well as Thibaut Mongon, worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health division.
On Thursday, the WHO published new guidance saying it can’t rule out the possibility that the coronavirus can be transmitted through air particles in closed spaces indoors, including in gyms and restaurants.
It previously acknowledged that the virus may become airborne in certain environments, such as during “medical procedures that generate aerosols.” The new guidance recognizes some research that shows the virus may spread through particles in the air in “indoor crowded spaces,” citing choir practice, restaurants and fitness classes as possible areas of transmission.
Earlier Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to accelerate.
“The virus can be brought under control,” he said in his opening remarks at a briefing of member states in Geneva. “But in most of the world, the virus is not under control; it’s getting worse.”
The new coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December, has infected more than 12.2 million people around the world and killed at least 555,486 people so far, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
“The pandemic is still accelerating,” Tedros added. “The total number of cases has doubled in the last six weeks.”