The World Health Organization (WHO) reclassified the international coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a “pandemic” on Wednesday.
Media briefing on #COVID19 with @DrTedros. #coronavirus https://t.co/aPFXT3ex5y
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
He continued, “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly…We cannot say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough. All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
The World Health Organization defines a pandemic as “the worldwide spread of a new disease,” or an epidemic that crosses borders.
There are currently more than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 122,000 cases worldwide, with 4,300 confirmed deaths. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that two-thirds of the German population were likely to contract the virus, following outbreaks in Italy and across East Asia.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States have increased ten-fold in the past week, and several high-profile international events such as South by Southwest and Coachella have been canceled or postponed.