THE World Health Organization has labelled the novel coronavirus, now called Covid-19, outbreak as a pandemic.
On Wednesday, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “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 characterised as a pandemic.”
The WHO defines a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease.
They occur when a new bug emerges and spreads, due to the fact most people don’t have immunity.
Dr Tedros said, “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.
“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus.
“It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”
Of the 121,000 Covid-19 cases recorded across the world in 114 countries, more than 90% are in just four nations.
Dr Tedros said 81 countries have yet to record a case of the new coronavirus, while 57 nations have 10 cases or less.
He said, “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough, all countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”