World Health Organization calls coronavirus outbreak "pandemic" for first time

  • World Premium
  • Thursday, 12 Mar 2020

FILE PHOTO - Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization described the new coronavirus as a pandemic for the first time on Wednesday, adding that Italy and Iran were now on the frontline of the disease and other countries would soon join them.

"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 characterised as a pandemic," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Wednesday.

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