With the novel virus claiming over 4,000 lives across 114 countries, the World Health Organisation(WHO) on Wednesday declared Coronavirus as a pandemic. Stating that it was deeply concerned by the alarming levels of the spread and severity of the outbreak, WHO called on all the affected countries’ governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking “urgent and aggressive action.
This has been the first time WHO declared a viral outbreak as a pandemic since H1N1 swine flu in 2009. But is this something to worry? What exactly does WHO mean by declaring Corona as a pandemic?
According to the norms of WHO, a pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time. As per the officials, declaring a pandemic has nothing to do with the characteristics of the disease but the severity and geographical spread. An epidemic, on the other hand, is a sudden increase in cases of an illness or disease that can be unique to one country or community.
Claimed to be a move designated to help health agencies raise concern among the public, a parademic has no legal meaning and doesn’t change what WHO is doing or change what countries should do. Addressing the media on Wednesday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the move was taken with a hope that the countries would take the outbreak on a series note.
“This call is taken to warn the countries throughout the world to work cooperatively and openly with one another and coming together as a united front in our efforts to bring this situation under control,” he added. Meanwhile, the number of patients who turned positive to the novel infection raised to 73 raising alarm across the nation.