On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.
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— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
The WHO classified the novel coronavirus as a global public health emergency on January 30th. Until Wednesday, March 10, 2020, the World Health Organization had been reluctant to classify the worldwide infection a pandemic, fearing the classification would incite unnecessary panic.
A pandemic is the “worldwide spread of a new disease,” according to the WHO. Generally “pandemic” says more about the spread of disease spread than the severity of a disease.
“Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear. What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world affecting different countries in different ways.”
— Tedros Adhanom, director general WHO, late February
The most recent pandemic declared by WHO was declared during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, which infected nearly one-fourth of the world’s population.
SARS and MERS epidemics were not considered a pandemic.
As the pandemic classification was official, 1050 cases of Coronavirus infection were recorded in the United States.
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