While the entire world is obviously at alert, the World Health Organization had officially declared the COVID-19 as a pandemic as the total number of cases climbs to as high as 118,000 in 114 countries all over the world.
The spread of the disease continues to spread even though there have been reports of patients who are have now fully recovered from the disease mostly who have returned back to their families. The WHO have been closely monitorung the spread of the virus according to Tedros Adhanom, the Director General of WHO during an official statement where he made it known that “We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” he said. “We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.”
Outside of China, other larger outbreaks had been in countries such as Italy, South Korea and the United States.
Adhanom is optimistic the spread of the disease can be controlled pointing out to South Korea and China where the outbreak is already declining. “It’s doable” he said.
And as the case is being declared a global outbreak, the WHO stated there is no special criteria for what should reach the level of a Pandemic as the Worldwide spread of a new disease is enough to be labelled as such. And with 114 countries all over the world already reporting cases of the disease, then the needful had to be done.
The Coronavirus was declared a global emergency whereby the WHO informed the general public to keep at alert while informing government to do all in their power to provide everything needed to ensure the safety of their citizens.
While the WHO had been reluctant to declare a pandemic just so as to avoid unnecessary panic, warnings had been given out to every global citizens and world governments to keep at alert and prepare for a pandemic.
“Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear,” Adhanom said at a press briefing at the end of February. “What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world affecting different countries in different ways.”
Countries around the world including Nigeria and the South Africa have all been preparing for a pandemic even though there was the fear of a total preparedness considering the lesser number of research centers in most Sub Sahara African countries. Nigeria reported it’s first case on the 28th of February when an Italian citizen entered the country 3 days prior to the declaration and developed symptoms which were positive to the COVID-19 disease. The country then employed other necessary measures to ensure the safety of it’s citizens issuing public statements about how to stay safe and also tracing other contacts the patients had met though he was pronounced to be in a good condition and rapidly improving.
During the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 was the last time the WHO declared a pandemic which affected nearly a quarter of the world’s population. Other diseases that went international but weren’t declared pandemic includes SARS which affected people in 26 countries worldwide and MERS.
As more research is being carried out and more patients are coming out alive, there is a big hope that the case of the COVID-19 will be conquered in just a matter of time.