WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic

WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic, giving the virus the highest level classification the World Health Organisation can give. 

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction” over the virus.

The new classification comes as UK cases reach 456 in the biggest one-day surge

Dr Tedros said declaring the coronavirus as a pandemic did not change the advice given about what countries should do. 

He has urged governments to take “urgent and aggressive action” in tackling the outbreak. 

“Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled,” he said. 

“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.” 

He added governments have to “strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimising disruption and respecting human life.” 

“We’re in this together to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable,” he said. 

Coronavirus updates

The Foreign Office has urged British citizens to leave Italy as soon as possible amid the country’s outbreak. And the number of UK cases has surged beyond 250. Seven people in Britain have now died of the disease.

The number of confirmed cases has risen to over 121,500 in at least 114 nations. COVID-19  being declared a pandemic means the new virus has sparked sustained outbreaks in multiple regions of the world.

More than 4,300 people have died, including over 3,000 in China, the epicentre of the disease.



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