World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has confirmed that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic after choosing not to use that description for several weeks.A pandemic is when an infectious disease spreads easily from person to person in many parts of the world.
The WHO Chief said: “WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we’re deeply concerned, both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that Covid-19 can be characterised as a pandemic.”
But he added:”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.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. The H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, was declared a pandemic by the WHO in 2009.