Coronavirus 'literally knocking at the door,' WHO warns countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) called on countries on Tuesday to boost their readiness against coronavirus, saying the virus is "literally knocking at the door."

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier, speaking at a news briefing in Geneva, said that WHO officials were meeting in Rome to discuss measures taken in Italy, which he said were "pretty strong." A mission to Iran, which had been announced for Tuesday, has been delayed and he had no date for its departure.

Many countries have "pandemic plans" ready and some may act upon them depending on their situation, but at the moment the WHO itself does not plan another "big announcement" such as when it declared an international emergency on Jan. 30, Lindmeier said.