Live updates: WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic; White House considers moving all of Europe to restrictive travel advisory; Italy ramps up shutdown
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared coronavirus a pandemic, signaling the outbreak has defied efforts to contain it and prompting alarm from the WHO that countries aren’t working quickly and aggressively enough to fight it.
“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO’s announcement does not trigger any new funding, protocols or regulations. But it is an acknowledgment of reality.
For weeks now, the WHO has hesitated to make the declaration because there is little upside, and it could create widespread panic. “It may cause fear,” Tedros said at a briefing this month.
But on Tuesday, Tedros noted the scale of the outbreak. “There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives,” he said.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of coronavirus cases, the number …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]