The World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, meaning that it will likely spread to all countries worldwide.
There have been more than 118,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 worldwide, according to WHO, and more than 4,000 people have died. The infection has been reported in 114 countries or territories, with the most severe outbreaks in China, Italy, and Iran.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said in a media briefing Wednesday that the global situation would worsen. But instead of focusing on the pandemic classification, he urged people around the world to focus on prevention and preparedness to mitigate the spread of the virus.
"There’s been so much attention on one word.
Let me give you some other words that matter much more, & that are much more actionable:
And most of all, People"-@DrTedros #COVID19 #coronavirus
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
WHO’s public health advice remains the same: Practice frequent hand-washing, maintain your distance from people who are sick, avoid touching your face, stay away from large social gatherings when possible, and seek medical care if you have difficulty breathing.