Just three months after the novel coronavirus outbreak began, the World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is now officially a pandemic. In an announcement on Wednesday, the agency’s director-general confirmed that they were stepping-up the state of the virus. He said this decision was “not taken lightly.”
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday, the World Health Organization’s director-general explained, “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.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus went on to add that there are now more than 118,000 cases of the virus, spread across 114 countries worldwide.
“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,” he said.
He noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has strong concerns about the "alarming levels of spread" and the overall severity of the outbreak.
For this reason, he confirmed, "We have, therefore, made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
While it sounds frightening, Tedros noted, “All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
🚨 BREAKING 🚨 "We have therefore made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic"-@DrTedros… https://t.co/sDXhYYqy5g— World Health Organization (WHO) (@World Health Organization (WHO)) 1583944013.0
Although there are now more than 118,000 diagnosed cases of the virus worldwide, Canada only has 93.
Additionally, there has only been one COVID-19 related dealth in the country so far.
"We're deeply concerned, both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction… https://t.co/XgFaPgAaU6— BBC News (World) (@BBC News (World)) 1583945714.0
This comes as the Canadian Government announced a new $1 billion plan to combat the novel coronavirus in Canada.
Speaking on Wednesday, Justin Trudeau promised additional funding into research, IE claims, local health services and “continued public education”.
He explained, “We have a responsibility to make sure Canada is ready for all scenarios, and we take that responsibility seriously.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlines Canada’s #COVID19 response: https://t.co/kiKSwdXx4O— CanadianPM (@CanadianPM) 1583934635.0
You can keep up-to-date with all of the WHO's COVID-19 advice by clicking here.
More to come ...