US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — The decision to declare an outbreak of coronavirus a pandemic was due to the speed and scale of the spread of COVID-19 disease, as well as the lack of response from some states.
Such explanations were given on Thursday at a diplomatic briefing in Geneva by WHO Director-General Tedros Adan Gebreyesus.
The text of his speech was distributed by the press service of the organization.
The head of WHO recalled that on Wednesday he announced that the outbreak of COVID-19 “could henceforth be described as a pandemic.”
“We made such an assessment for two main reasons: firstly, because of the speed and scale of transmission,” he said. Currently, more than 125 thousand people have become infected with coronavirus in 118 countries. Over the past two weeks, the number of cases outside of China has grown 13 times, the Director General said.
Speaking about the second reason for the announcement of the pandemic, Tedros Adan Gebreyesus emphasized that “despite frequent warnings,” WHO “is deeply concerned that some countries do not approach this threat with the level of political commitment that is needed to control it.”
However, the head of WHO clarified that the characterization of the current outbreak as a pandemic does not mean that one should “give up”. On the contrary, efforts must be redoubled in the fight against coronavirus, he said, adding: “This is a pandemic that can be controlled.”
According to him, “all countries must find the right balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruptions, and respecting human rights.”
An outbreak caused by the new coronavirus disease was recorded at the end of December 2019 in Central China. The World Health Organization has recognized it as a pandemic.
Cases of infection recorded in more than a hundred countries, including Russia. In total, according to WHO, more than 118 thousand people were infected, about 4.3 thousand died. In the Russian Federation, 28 cases of infection are registered.
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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.