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Coronavirus: COVID-19 Is Now Officially A Pandemic, WHO Says.

Image source: vector stock

On March 11 , 2020 at a press conference in Geneva, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a “Pandemic” as there are now over 118,000 cases of the COVID-19 in over 114 countries, over 4,000 deaths worldwide and the sustained risk of further global spread.

"This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva yesterday.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-general of WHO, said : "We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity of the disease, and by the alarming levels of inaction," "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."

He insisted that "describing the situation as a pandemic must not change WHO's assessment of the threat posed by the virus," "It doesn't change what WHO is doing. And it doesn't change what countries should do."

Image source: Ars Technica

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted during the conference that, “pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” but added that there was still time for officials to curb growth. While the term has already been employed by many medical professionals, the WHO has avoided an official declaration before now.

Terms to know:

  • Outbreak - Refers to the number of cases (disease) that exceeds what would be expected.

  • Endemic: a disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. E.g. Malaria in parts of Africa.

  • Epidemic: An outbreak of disease that attacks many peoples at about the same time and may spread through one or several communities.

  • Pandemic: When an epidemic spreads throughout the world.

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