Why Coronavirus Has Been Declared A Pandemic by WHO

Dr Tedros, WHO Director General

Coronavirus also referred to as (COVID-19) in medical terms has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization following over 118,000 cases of infections in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths have been reported across the world since its outbreak.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a pandemic is a disease that has spread in multiple countries around the world, usually affecting a large number of people. The term pandemic was borrowed from the Greek word “pan” meaning all and “demos” meaning people. The last time WHO declared a pandemic was in 2009 during the “swine flu” outbreak.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, while addressing the media said he was “deeply concerned” by the “alarming levels of inaction” as the outbreak has shown no signs of slowing down.

“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled. We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

WHO said more than 90 per cent of cases are in China, Italy, Iran and South Korea, but the number of cases in China and South Korea is declining significantly. However, those countries with new infections are struggling to contain the situation to prevent spread as a majority lack of capacity while others with a lack of resources.

Nations have quickly taken drastic measures to respond to this announcement, with Saudi Arabia immediately suspending travel and flights to the European Union and several other countries following the announcement. As at now, governments will be forced to spend more on preventive measures to keep COVID-19 away for a while.