Informing about the delay in decision, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said in Geneva on Wednesday that it was a long discussion but the committee needs more information to determine the status of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, China has confirmed 17 deaths and more than 550 infection cases as of Wednesday.
The WHO has a team in China working with local experts and officials to investigate the outbreak.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that China stands ready to work with the international community to effectively curb the spread.
Prasar Bharati Special Correspondent in China reports that the panel of 16 experts which met in Geneva was divided on whether or not to declare the virus outbreak a public health emergency. They are still considering more evidences before any decision as it is a very serious decision for China and whole world.
Looking at number of infections growing rapidly, China has put in place all the contingency measures. Local government of Wuhan has announced that all public transportation in the city will be temporarily closed starting at 10am local time on Thursday. All flights and trains scheduled to depart from Wuhan also will be temporarily canceled to reduce the risk of spreading the new virus. The local authority advised residents not to leave Wuhan unless they have a “special reason”.