Pre-symptomatic refers to the early stages of an illness before symptoms have developed, whereas asymptomatic may refer to having no symptoms throughout the course of infection -- a distinction that Van Kerkhove hinted at during Monday's media briefing.

When asked about Covid-19 situation in India, WHO chief said it could be an opportunity for India to speed up the health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, especially with a focus on primary healthcare.

Speaking about loosening the social distancing order, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said key criteria for lifting lockdowns should be slowing transmission.

Morrison once again conveyed his condolences to all of those deeply impacted by tropical Cyclone Ampham that hit the Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha, killing over 70 people last month.

WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this outbreak. Contact tracing is also underway in the country.

He further said US will be redirecting funds intended for WHO to other organisation working on public health needs.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus welcomed him for the new role: "I would like to congratulate and welcome Dr Harsh Vardhan on his election as the new chair.

The second worst-hit country is Russia, which has reported 3.17 lakh cases. The country's death toll stands at 3,099.

“I will initiate an independent evaluation at the earliest appropriate moment to review experience gained and lessons learned, and to make recommendations to improve national and global pandemic preparedness and response,” WHO chief Dr Tedros said.

Last month, Australia was the first country to call for an independent inquiry into how the coronavirus started.