WHO labels coronavirus outbreak as pandemic

 

 

The World Health Organization is describing the new coronavirus as a pandemic, it said yesterday, adding that Italy and Iran were now on the frontline of the disease and other countries would soon join them. “We are 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,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference yesterday.

He urged the global community to redouble efforts to contain the outbreak, saying aggressive measures could still play a big role to curb the pandemic. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said the situation in Iran was “very serious” and the agency would like to see more surveillance and more care for the sick. The coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, has spread around the world, halting industry, bringing flights to a standstill, closing schools and forcing the postponement of sporting events and concerts.-K.T.

=======================================================