WHO characterizes COVID-19 outbreak as pandemic-Xinhua

WHO characterizes COVID-19 outbreak as pandemic

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-12 01:26:08

GENEVA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said here on Wednesday that the COVID-19 outbreak can be characterized as a "pandemic" as the virus spreads increasingly worldwide.

"We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.

There are now more than 118,000 confirmed cases in 114 countries and regions, and 4,291 people have lost their lives, Tedros said, noting that the number of coronavirus cases, deaths, as well as affected countries is expected to climb even higher in the days and weeks ahead.

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time," he added.

Tedros said describing the situation as a pandemic does not change the WHO's assessment of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus, nor does it change what the WHO is doing and countries should do.

However, the WHO chief called on the international community to take urgent and aggressive action to contain the pandemic.

"We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear," he said.


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