The Covid-19 virus has just been officially declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday (11th March), reported CNA.
“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 characterised as a pandemic,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. This is the first pandemic that can be controlled,” he said later in a Tweet.
He then called on the global community to intensify their efforts to contain the outbreak and added that aggressive measures could still play a part in reducing the spread.
As of now, it has been reported that there are 125,796 confirmed cases, 4,615 deaths and 67,002 recoveries at the time of writing.
Besides China, Italy and Iran are at the frontline now, with Italy recording a total of 12,462 cases and 827 deaths while Iran records a total of 9,000 cases and 354 deaths.
Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said the situation in Iran was “very serious” and the agency would like to see more surveillance and more care for the sick.
“We need to move now. Italy and Iran are in the frontline now. They are suffering but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation very soon,” he said.
He added that some countries were only testing elderly people or individuals who travelled to China and urged them to “update their monitoring and contact-tracing measures as well as do more to protect health workers exposed to the virus.”
Ryan also said that many people have the false conclusion that a pandemic is uncontrollable after having experienced influenza, but with South Korea, Singapore and China combating the coronavirus, this has been shown to be not true.
“We have an observation that tells us that there is a strong element of controllability in this disease,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean we will completely stop it but what it does mean is there is a real chance to blunt the curve, there is a real chance to bend the curve and reduce the number of cases that our health system has to cope with and give the health system a chance to save more lives.”
We can’t stop this virus from spreading further, but we can all do our part to keep ourselves safe!
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