The WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Wednesday.
Coronavirus has gripped the world in a feverish manner and more confirmed cases are emerging every day. More than 1300 positive cases for the virus have been detected in America so far and it has caused 38 deaths at the time of writing this piece. Tom Hanks and his wife Rita have also been confirmed positive for coronavirus as per the latest report.
Given the wide number of cases, the WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the novel virus as a pandemic. WHO defines a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease for which most people do not have immunity. This is quite concerning as the vaccines and medicine required to fight the virus may not be available for another year.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom said: "Over the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled." He added: "In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries climb even higher. We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming spread and severity, and the alarming levels of inaction."
On the positive side, however, the majority of the cases have so far been confined to 4 countries (China, Italy, S. Korea, and Iran) and the number of cases being reported every day from China and South Korea have declined. The coming days can show an increase in the number of cases in other countries where the testings have begun recently but the need to practice extreme caution is emphasized.
Furthermore, it has been advised that people follow the precautions prescribed by the CDC and WHO and avoid rumors and panic. Meanwhile, the concerned authorities are working to contain the spread and numerous countries have taken extreme travel measures (via bans) to prevent further spread.