The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the coronavirus a global pandemic with more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths.
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the virus has increased 13-fold in two weeks. He also added that he is “deeply concerned” by countries’ “alarming levels of inaction”.
A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries at the same time.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.
He called on countries to take more aggressive action to change the course of the outbreak.
“Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled,” he said.
“The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.”
“We’re in this together to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable,” he said.
European countries have promised to clamp down tighter on the virus with Italy, which has more than 12 thousand cases and 827 deaths, shutting down shops and facilities to try to stop the spread of the virus.
In Iran, the official numbers are nine thousand cases and 354 deaths and the situation has been described as “serious”. According to BBC, the WHO has sent 40,000 testing kits to Iran but there was still a shortage of ventilators and oxygen.
Several countries within Africa have recorded confirmed cases and deaths from Coronavirus, including Nigeria which now has two cases of the virus.
The index case was an Italian man who travelled to Nigeria for business and had contact with the second patient.
Since the virus originated in Wuhan, China, it has been a race against time to try to slow its spread to other countries. China has confirmed over 80 thousand cases and has over three thousand deaths.
Since then, it has spread to over 100 countries worldwide, bringing the total number of deaths to almost five thousand. Earlier today, Hollywood actor, Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife, Rita Wilson have tested positive for the virus.
NBA games have been suspended after a basketball player tested positive for the virus. As of now, there is still no cure or vaccine for the virus.