The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared Coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, as the disease spreads across countries and continents.
The novel coronavirus outbreak is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“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,” he added.
According to CNN, The specific criteria for a pandemic are not universally defined, but there are three general criteria: a virus that can cause illness or death; sustained person-to-person transmission of that virus; and evidence of spread throughout the world.
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 115,800 people, including at least 1,000 in the US and killed over 4,200 worldwide, according to CNN’s tally.
China’s National Health Commission has confirmed the virus, which causes a disease known as Covid-19, can be transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission” — where a virus is passed on due to an infected person sneezing or coughing — as well as by direct contact.
In mainland China, more than 80,700 cases of the virus and over 3,100 deaths have been recorded — the vast majority in Hubei province of Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak.
There are more than 35,000 confirmed cases of the virus in over 100 countries and territories outside mainland China. At least 1,120 people have died outside of mainland China from the virus.
Nigeria has recorded two confirmed cases of the virus with no record of death and over 30 people quarantined.