WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic as cases rise

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic on Wednesday amid the rising cases.

The WHO defined pandemic as a worldwide spread of a new disease.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned that the COVID-19 cases outside China “has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.”

Ghebreyesus added that the organization expects the number of cases, deaths, and affected countries to rise even higher in the coming days and weeks.

The WHO is concerned by the alarming levels of spread, severity, and inaction.

Ghebreyesus also shared that the COVID-19 is the first pandemic that is caused by a coronavirus.

However, Ghebreyesus assured, “all countries can still change the course of this pandemic,” adding that a number of countries have shown that the virus can be suppressed and controlled.

The director-general reiterated that nations must address the situation with a “whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach.” He summarized a comprehensive strategy in four key areas: prepare and be ready; detect, protect, and treat; reduce transmission; innovate and learn.

Ghebreyesus appealed to all countries “to activate and scale up” the emergency response mechanisms.

As of Thursday, there are over 118,000 cases in 114 countries while there are more than 4,000 deaths.