WHO declares coronavirus outbreak pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic with around 18,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.
WHO declares coronavirus outbreak pandemic

"We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic," Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, said in his opening remarks at the media briefing on Wednesday, March 11.

Adhanom highlighted that 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.

"In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher," worried WHO director expressed.

Adhanom added that "pandemic" is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. "It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death."

Merriam-Webster defines pandemic as "an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population."

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus," Adhanom said.

He also instructed that countries must take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact.

"First, prepare and be ready.

Second, detect, protect and treat.

Third, reduce transmission.

Fourth, innovate and learn. "

In the Philippines, DOH has recorded Wednesday second death due to COVID-19. Total confirmed cases climbed to 49 as of Wednesday afternoon.


— The Summit Express

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