march 2020

Coronavirus outbreak: WHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, a pandemic. WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday. “Over the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled,” he said. “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,” Tedros said. “We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming spread and severity, and the alarming levels of inaction.”

For these reasons, he said, the WHO determined that the disease outbreak should be called a pandemic.