The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that this is the first such coronavirus to be declared a pandemic.
“In the past two weeks the number of cases outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said during a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva Wednesday. “In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries to climb even higher.” - 1290 News Talk
"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," said Ghebreyesus. - 1290 News Talk
More than 120,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 4,300 have died from the virus. In the United States, there are more than 1,000 cases confirmed and 32 people have died. According to officials, the vast majority of cases are mild, and almost half of those infected have recovered.