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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus COVID-19 a global pandemic.
This comes as over 121,000 cases have been confirmed, across all continents but Antarctica.
Mainland China, Korea, Italy, and the Middle East, particularly Iran, have been hit with the virus the hardest thus far.
“In the past two weeks the number of cases outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on a conference call Wednesday. “In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries to climb even higher.”
Tedros went on to praise countries who have been able to curb the rate of infection, such as South Korea, and also scolded countries who did not act quick enough.
“We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” said Tedros, before officially pulling the alarm on the pandemic.
“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said.
WHO has been cautious with use of the term pandemic, as it can make travel and trade difficult and can have serious consequences on the world economy.
The world total for cases has reached just over 125,000 with nearly 4,500 deaths, as of Wednesday.