World Health Organization holds press conference on the coronavirus outbreak

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World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 737,000 people across the globe, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

On Friday, WHO officials said the first patients have been enrolled for a “historic” drug trial to test treatments for the coronavirus. World health officials are testing four of the most promising drugs to fight COVID-19, including malaria medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, an antiviral compound called Remdesivir, a combination of HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir and a combination of those drugs plus interferon-beta.

However, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at press conference Friday that a vaccine is likely 12 to 18 months away. Biotech company Moderna began the first human trial testing for a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 last week.

There are no proven therapies for the coronavirus, which has killed at least 35,000 people across the globe. In the U.S., the coronavirus has infected at least 143,000 people and has killed at least 2,500.

— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and
William Feuer
contributed to this report.


Read CNBC’s live updates to see the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak.

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