Despite Increase in COVID-19 Cases Outside China, WHO Says the Virus is Not Yet a Pandemic

February 24th 2020
Aislinn Antrim, Assistant Editor
Aislinn Antrim, Assistant Editor

In a press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, PhD, said the decision to declare a pandemic is based on ongoing assessments of the geographic spread, the virus’s impact on overall society, and the severity of the illnesses.

With 256 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Republic of Korea,167 new cases in Italy,1and 10 new cases in Iran,1global health experts are concerned about increasing amounts of global spread. Despite these concerns, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this spread does not yet qualify as a pandemic.2

In a press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, PhD, said the decision to declare a pandemic is based on ongoing assessments of the geographic spread, the virus’s impact on overall society, and the severity of the illnesses.2

“For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale civil disease or deaths,” Adhanom said.2

In total, China has confirmed 77,362 cases and 2,618 deaths, including 416 new cases and 150 deaths in the 24 hours ending 10 am on Monday, February 24.2

“We’re encouraged by the continued decline in cases in China,” Adhanom said.2

A team of researchers has made several important findings regarding the spread of the disease and its fatality rate. Adhanom said the team found that the epitome of the virus peaked and plateaued between January 23 and February 2, and has since been declining steadily.2The fatality rate is 2-4% in Wuhan, China, and 0.7% outside of Wuhan.2

Read the full story onPharmacy Times.

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