- The term had already been employed by many medical professionals but WHO had avoided an official declaration
- The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic following a global death toll of 4,291, from 118,000 reported cases across 114 countries
- According to WHO, pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly
- It is the worldwide spread of a new disease
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic during a press conference in Geneva.
According to the organisation, the global death toll has hit 4,291, from 118,000 reported cases across 114 countries.
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Tedros noted during the conference that pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly but added that there was still time for officials to curb growth.
While the term has already been employed by many medical professionals, the WHO had avoided an official declaration.
Tedros said WHO will continue to closely monitor the spread of the virus.
“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” he said.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action,"' he added
The move comes as cases from the viral coronavirus strain have increased 13-fold in two weeks, effectively tripling the number of countries that have diagnosed cases.
According to the organisation, a pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease noting that viruses that have caused past pandemics typically originated from animal influenza viruses.
The viruses appeared to be the case with the deadly novel coronavirus.
Notably, the pandemic classification has to do more with the geographical reach of a disease, rather than the specific severity of the condition.
The consensus among officials is that the situation is likely to continue to get worse before it improves.
The virus has already had a profound impact on business trade, and day to day life around the globe.
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