It's Official: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic

It's Official: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic

Mar 11 2020

Coronavirus confirmed as pandemic by World Health Organization

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It's Official: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks.

He said he was "deeply concerned" by "alarming levels of inaction" over the virus.

A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

However, Dr Tedros said that calling the outbreak a pandemic did not mean the WHO was changing its advice about what countries should do.

Even as he raised the health emergency to its highest level, Tedros said hope remains that COVID-19 can be curtailed. And he urged countries to take action now to stop the disease.

"WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases," Tedros said. "And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear."

Eight countries — including the U.S. — are now each reporting more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus that has infected nearly 120,000 people worldwide.

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