March 11, 2020: The World Health Organisation has declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, while also confirming that the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks.
This development prompted WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to say at a press conference that he was deeply concerned by alarming levels of inaction over the virus.
A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
Ghebreyesus asked governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking urgent and aggressive action, with several countries demonstrating that the virus can be suppressed and controlled.
According to WHO, governments have to strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimising disruption and respecting human rights.
There are now more than 118,000 infections in 114 countries and 4,291 people have died of the virus, with the numbers expected to climb.
Britain has launched a 30-billion-pound (US$38.54 billion) economic stimulus plan as new finance minister Rishi Sunak said the economy faced a significant impact from the spread of the virus, even if it was likely to be temporary.
Also today Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earmarked $28.3 billion to ease the economic impact, while saying that already tough restrictions on movement might be tightened further after the northern region of Lombardy, where Italy’s financial capital Milan is located, asked for all shops to shut and public transport to close.