The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
The director-general of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, announced this on Wednesday during a media briefing.
Pandemic is used to describe a disease outbreak that has spread to several countries and affected a large number of people.
“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID19 outside China has increased 13-fold & the number of affected countries has tripled. There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, & 4,291 people have lost their lives,” he said.
“Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of #COVID19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher”
“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.
“I remind all countries that we are calling on you to activate & scale up your emergency response mechanisms, communicate with your people about the risks & how they can protect themselves, find, isolate, test and treat every #COVID19 case & trace every contact.”
According to the WHO, 118,000 cases have been confirmed globally.
Two cases have been confirmed in Nigeria.