“This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus… We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” declared the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a briefing in Geneva.
“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled,” Tedros said.
“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic,” Tedros said.
The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries, killing 4,000+ people and is now officially a pandemic.
Eight countries — including the U.S. — are now each reporting more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus that has infected nearly 120,000 people worldwide.
Even as he raised the health emergency to its highest level, Tedros said hope remains that COVID-19 can be curtailed. And he urged countries to take action now to stop the disease.
The most severe pandemic in recent history was the 1918 influenza pandemic, sometimes referred to as the “Spanish flu.” The pandemic was estimated to have infected about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population and killed some 50 million worldwide.
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