The World Health Organization said Wednesday the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and that has infected more than 121,000 people around the world has become a pandemic. Until now, the WHO has characterized the illness, which broke out in Wuhan, China, late last year, as a series of epidemics. An outbreak is deemed to have become a pandemic when it has spread from human-to-human on several continents. The agency said the number of cases outside China has increased tenfold and the number of countries affected has tripled, the Market Watch reports.
As of today’s reports, the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 100 000. As we mark this sombre moment, the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities.
China and other countries are demonstrating that spread of the virus can be slowed and impact reduced through the use of universally applicable actions, such as working across society to identify people who are sick, bringing them to care, following up on contacts, preparing hospitals and clinics to manage a surge in patients, and training health workers.
WHO calls on all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus.
Every effort to contain the virus and slow the spread saves lives. These efforts give health systems and all of society much needed time to prepare, and researchers more time to identify effective treatments and develop vaccines.
Allowing uncontrolled spread should not be a choice of any government, as it will harm not only the citizens of that country but affect other countries as well.
We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity. Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the healthcare system, the workplace or the transport system.
Leaders at all levels and in all walks of life must step forward to bring about this commitment across society.
WHO will continue to work with all countries, our partners and expert networks to coordinate the international response, develop guidance, distribute supplies, share knowledge and provide people with the information they need to protect themselves and others.