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WHO declares coronavirus outbreak a ‘pandemic’

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that while the declaration "doesn't change what countries should do" to aggressively contain the virus, the UN health agency is "deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity.''

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 11, 2020 10:52:56 pm
A shoe shiner wears a mask to help protect himself from the new coronavirus as he attends to customers on Hamra street in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Wednesday said that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterised as a pandemic.

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was addressing a media gathering in Geneva said.

“We have therefore made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” he said.

WHO also said that while the declaration “doesn’t change what countries should do” to aggressively contain the virus, the UN health agency is “deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity.”

The WHO chief also said, “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear”.

The outbreak has so far infected more than 1,21,000 people and killed over 4,300 globally.

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