World Health Organization declares coronavirus Covid-19 a PANDEMIC

"We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world.

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the coronavirus Covid 19 a pandemic.

The escalation was declared by the Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

A pandemic is defined as an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.

"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.

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time. WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.

"We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.

"Just looking at the number of #COVID19 cases and the number of countries affected does not tell the full story.

"Of the 118,000 COVID19 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 per cent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those South Korea and China have significantly declining epidemics.

"81 countries have not reported any COVID19 cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less. We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic"

"If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of COVID19 cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission.

“Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this #coronavirus. Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled.

“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large #COVID19 clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.

“Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.

"I remind all countries that we are calling on you to: -ready your hospitals -protect and train your #healthworkers -let’s all look out for each other.

"I remind all countries that we are calling on you to -activate & scale up your emergency response mechanisms -communicate with your people about the risks & how they can protect themselves -find, isolate, test & treat every COVID19 case & trace every contact.

"All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic & social disruption & respecting human rights.

"There’s been so much attention on one word. Let me give you some other words that matter much more, & that are much more actionable: Prevention. Preparedness. Public health. Political leadership. And most of all, People.

"We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable," he said.