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  • WHO director Tedros Adhanom at a new press conference, Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 10, 2020.

    WHO director Tedros Adhanom at a new press conference, Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 10, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 March 2020
Opinion

So far over 118,000 cases of infected persons and 4,291 deaths have been registered in 114 countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday declared the outbreak of coronavirus as a pandemic once more than 118,000 cases of infected persons and 4,291 deaths have been registered in 114 countries.

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"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction," the WHO director Tedros Adhanom said.

"We can expect the number of cases, deaths and countries affected to increase" in the coming days and weeks, he added.

So far, most cases of the pandemic have occurred in China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Among European countries, France, Spain, and Germany also registered hundreds of infected.

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus," the WHO director explained. ​​​​​​​

"Pandemic is not a word to use lightly," Adhanom warned and added that if the word is misused, "it can cause unreasonable fear or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death."

Nevertheless, he also stressed that "this is not just a public-health crisis," which implies that countries must prepare policies and actions to move forward with "a broad, coordinated response."

As to March 11, in Latin America, 34 coronavirus cases have been reported in Brazil; 19 in Argentina; 17 in Chile and Ecuador; 11 in Peru; nine in Costa Rica and Colombia; eight in Panama; seven in Mexico; and one in the Dominican Republic and Paraguay.​​​​​​​

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