WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic

CNC
Added On March 13, 2020

INTRO
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the COVID-19 outbreak can be characterized as a "pandemic" as the virus spreads increasingly worldwide.
 
News Hour has the details. 
 
PKG
 
SOUNDBITE (English): TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WHO Director-General 
 
"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are 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 characterized as a pandemic.
 
Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO's assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn't change what WHO is doing, and it doesn't change what countries should do. We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time." 
 
Tedros also urged the international community to take urgent and aggressive actions to contain the pandemic.
 
He said there are now more than 118,000 confirmed cases in 114 countries and regions, and 4,291 people have lost their lives, 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.
 
Thanks to the arduous efforts of the Chinese government and people, China's prevention and control has achieved progress with daily new confirmed cases declining from thousands to dozens.
 
However, cases of infections have been rising rapidly in Europe and other parts of the world, with Italy being the hardest-hit country.
 
 
Meanwhile,UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on all governments to immediately scale up their efforts, and all people to play their part.
 
Guterres also warned against panic, saying, quote, "As we fight the virus, we cannot let fear go viral."