GENEVA (Reuters) – The world is facing a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment in the fight against a spreading coronavirus epidemic, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

As of 6 a.m. Geneva time (0500 GMT) there were 31,211 confirmed cases in China and 637 deaths, he said.

“For the last two days there had been fewer reported infections in China, which is good news, but we caution against reading too much into that. The numbers could go up again,” he told the WHO Executive Board in Geneva.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Nick Macfie; editing by John Stonestreet

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