The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic that requires serious attention.
A pandemic usually refers to a disease that spreads in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
WHO head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the declaration on Wednesday as cases continue to increase.
He told reporters that “We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”
Ghebreyesus added that “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”
“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”
He also noted that “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.
WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.”
The WHO chief told journalists that “We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”
He gave other details about the current outbreak saying “Of the 118,000 #COVID19 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those, China and South Korea – have significantly declining epidemics.”
“81 countries have not reported any #COVID19 cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less. We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 11, 2020