The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday (March 11) declared the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic.
Speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing, the WHO Director-General said the organization has been assessing the outbreak “around the clock” and is deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.
“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared.
“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 virus. 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. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus,” Dr. Tedros further said.
In a series of tweets, the WHO DG however expressed optimism that the batte against the pandemic will eventually be won.
“The rule of the game is: Never give up,” he said, adding: “We are not at the mercy of this virus.”
“All countries must aim to stop transmission and prevent the spread of COVID-19, whether they face no cases, sporadic cases, clusters or community transmission.
“Let hope be the antidote to fear.
Let solidarity be the antidote to blame.
“Let our shared humanity be the antidote to our shared threat”