The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations. It  has nothing to do with changes to the characteristics of a disease.

Speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing, the WHO Director-General said:

“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.

We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

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

Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”

Meanwhile, the world is busy readying different measures to either combat the disease, or its effects:

  • President Trump of United States announced a travel ban to all European countries – the list does not include the UK.
  • PM Morrison of Australia announced a $17.6 billion economic plan to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business and support households and the Australian economy. Up to 6.5 million individuals and 3.5 million businesses would be directly supported by the package.
  • Denmark will close all schools, universities and daycare facilities in the coming days to curb the spread of coronavirus, the country’s prime minister said.
  • India suspended all tourist visas until April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
  • Kuwait will halt all commercial flights to and from the Gulf Arab state starting on Friday until further notice, with the exception of cargo flights, state news agency KUNA said.