Mr Gbebreyesus, on his Twitter handle @Dr_Tedros on Monday, said he was on his way to Beijing to meet with the government and health experts supporting the coronavirus response in the country.
“My WHO colleagues and I would like to understand the latest development and strengthen our partnership in providing further protection against the outbreak,” he tweeted.
“We are working 24/7 to support China and its people during this difficult time and remain in close contact with affected countries, with our regional and country offices deeply involved.”
He added that “WHO is updating all countries on the situation and providing specific guidance on what to do to respond”.
China, since December has been battling the scourge of a new disease – coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which has infected about 1,975 people in the country, with death toll rising to 56.
The disease, which originated in Wuhan city, has found its way out of the country and has been exported to about 11 countries – with the first suspected case in Africa reported in Cote d Ivoire on Monday.
Currently, millions of people in China have been quarantined as many cities are on lockdown. The rapid spread and lack of adequate information on the pattern of the disease has raised concerns among the public and health workers across the globe.
People are also beginning to clamour for WHO to declare the disease a global threat.
Mr Gbereyesus said building on experience and systems already in place for related pathogens, WHO has activated global network of experts, quickly developed advice for countries everywhere and is working with them to activate their response system to coronavirus.
In another development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $10 million in emergency funds and corresponding support to assist frontline responders in China and Africa in their effort to contain the global spread of the disease.
The international NGO, in a statement released via its website, said the funds are divided into equal half to assist African and China in the prevention and surveillance against the disease.
The foundation said it is immediately releasing $5 million to assist Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in scaling up public health measures against coronavirus among African Union member states.
“The measures will include technical support to implement the screening and treatment of suspected cases, laboratory confirmation of 2019-nCoV diagnoses and the safe isolation and care of identified cases,” it said.
The other half of the $ 5 million is committed to coronavirus response in China.
The foundation said it is already working with a range of Chinese public and private sector partners to accelerate national and international cooperation in areas of critical need, including efforts to identify and confirm cases, safely isolate and dare for patients and accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines.
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