UN health chief visits China to help with virus containment

A worker in a hazardous materials suit takes the temperature of a truck driver at a checkpoint in Huaibei in central China's Anhui Province, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. China on Monday expanded sweeping efforts to contain a viral disease by extending the Lunar New Year holiday to keep the public at home and avoid spreading infection as the death toll rose to 80. (Chinatopix via AP)
A worker in a hazardous materials suit takes the temperature of a truck driver at a checkpoint in Huaibei in central China's Anhui Province, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. China on Monday expanded sweeping efforts to contain a viral disease by extending the Lunar New Year holiday to keep the public at home and avoid spreading infection as the death toll rose to 80. (Chinatopix via AP) (Chinatopix)

BEIJING – 11:20 p.m.

The director-general of the World Health Organization has flown to China to meet with government officials and health experts trying to contain the spread of a deadly virus that has killed 81 people in China and infected 2,750.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said the U.N. health agency wants "to understand the latest developments and strengthen our partnership with China in providing further protection against the outbreak.”

Last week, WHO held off on declaring the virus a global health emergency. It said China had taken very strong measures — including locking down cities that are home to 50 million people — that the agency hoped would be effective in containing the virus and “short in duration.”

Tedros said he would not hesitate to reconvene the WHO emergency committee at a moment's notice if the situation in China changed. He said that could happen “in a day" if that was needed.

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10:10 p.m.

The mayor of the Chinese city where a deadly virus broke out says he would be willing to resign if it helps the government contain its spread.