New York Health Department Denies Report of Possible Coronavirus Patient in City

New York Police Department officers reportedly are warned to protect themselves if they visit a hospital where a possible patient is being treated, a report says.
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There is no confirmed case of the coronavirus in New York, city Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said in a tweet Friday, contradicting an earlier report from the New York Daily News. 

The Daily News reported that New York Police Department officers reportedly were warned to protect themselves if they visit a hospital where a possible patient is being treated.

Police officers in eight precincts were sent a message a 1:56 a,m. ET Friday saying that an Asian male in his 50s was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital in the Queens borough of New York with a possible case of the virus.  

"Make sure the officer has proper gear to protect themselves," the message said, according to the Daily News. 

A spokeswoman for Elmhurst Hospital backed up the health commissioner's statement, saying that no coronavirus patients "have been reported."

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the coronavirus a "public health emergency of international concern" as the disease has now infected nearly 10,000 people and has caused 213 deaths.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus praised the Chinese government’s response to the outbreak.

He said the outbreak could have been much worse without the Chinese government's intervention.

Nonetheless, the fact that 98 cases have been confirmed in 18 countries outside China necessitated Thursday’s declaration.

“So far we have not seen any deaths outside China, for which we must all be grateful," he said.

"Although these numbers are still relatively small compared to the number of cases in China, we must all act together now to limit further spread.”

Stocks on Wall Street declined sharply Friday as investors weighed the impact of the virus outbreak on global growth.