It’s the news we’d all been expecting but were hoping it wouldn’t come – the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus as a global pandemic.
The WHO also warned that countries were not doing enough to stop the spread of the virus around the globe.
“In the days and weeks ahead we expect to see the many cases, the many deaths and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” said the WHO’s director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The WHO had previously resisted using the word ‘pandemic’ for the Coronavirus outbreak. But it’s changed its mind to shock countries into taking greater action.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Ghebreyesus said. “The WHO is deeply concerned by both alarming levels of spread and severity and by alarming levels of inaction.”
The WHO is also positive that the impact can still be controlled. “All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilise their people in the response,” he said.
Coronavirus in the Middle East
Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, with 354 deaths.
The UAE meanwhile has 51 confirmed cases of Coronavirus with no deaths. The UAE has taken great steps to contain the virus, with schools postponed for a month and travel bans implemented.
Kuwait has just announced two weeks of public holiday from March 12-26 and also cancelled all commercial flights.