World Health Organisation urged that the world should struggle more to deal with possible coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO said the countries should be “in a phase of preparedness” although it was too early to declare the outbreak a pandemic.
An infectious disease is called pandemic when it spreads easily from person to person in several parts of the world.
There are many cases of Covid-19 in more than 25 countries outside China.
There are over 1,200 cases of coronavirus in 30 countries outside China. Twenty deaths have also been reported.
Apart from that, 2,600 people have died in China whereas 77,000 cases have been confirmed.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed to media on Monday that the number of patients in Iran, Italy and South Korea was “deeply concerning”.
He said, “For the moment we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus and we are not witnessing large scale severe disease or deaths.
“Does this virus have pandemic potential? It has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet.”
He added, “The key message that should give all countries hope, courage and confidence is that this virus can be contained, indeed there are many countries that have done exactly that,”
“Using the word ‘pandemic’ now does not fit the facts but may certainly cause fear.”
Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergency programme, said now was the time to make “do everything you would do to prepare for a pandemic”.
Afghanistan’s minister of public health said on Monday the country had identified its first case of coronavirus.
Reuters reported that Ferozuddin Feroz, the minister of public health, told a press conference in Kabul one of three suspected cases had been confirmed in the Western province of Herat.