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World Health Organization Declares Cororonavirus a Pandemic.

5:03 PM · Mar 11, 2020

"In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID19 outside China has increased 13-fold and the number of affected countries has tripled”, says @DrTedros at start of the @WHOpresser in Geneva now. “We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction”, says @drtedros. "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” "There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives”, says @DrTedros. "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”, he says. Calling it a pandemic does not change @WHO’s assessment of the threat of COVID19, says @drtedros. "It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do." "We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action”, says @drtedros. "We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” Says: "If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of COVID19 cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission”. Even countries with large outbreak can still turn the tide, he says. Other countries have demonstrated this. "The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large COVID19 clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will" @WHO clearly escalating its rhetoric. @drtedros statement today is clearest, strongest message on global COVID19 situation that I have heard from him. Note also that much of the worries formulated by @drtedros are about how countries have been reacting to the virus (or rather NOT reacting). @WHO clearly has made the judgement that they are not getting through to some people. Via Kai Kupferschmid science journalist, molecular biologist

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