Coronavirus: COVID-19 Officially Deemed 'Pandemic' by World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has announced that coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has officially been deemed a pandemic. The WHO revealed the news on Wednesday, with the organization's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying, "This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus." The virus was first noticed in China, back in January, and since then it has reached eight countries. NPR reports that it has infected more than 120,000 people. Notably, in Italy, coronavirus has caused 630 deaths.

"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction," Ghebreyesus added.

"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," he continued.

"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," Ghebreyesus also said.

He later shared, "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."

Dr. Ghebreyesus then stated that "if countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response," then "those with a handful of COVID19 cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission."

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Concluding his statement on the coronavirus pandemic, Ghebreyesus said, "We're in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It's doable."

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