The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19, commonly known as Wuhan pneumonia) in 2019 has been occurring for almost three months. The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced on March 11 that the epidemic was classified as pandemic level.
Tan Desai said he was concerned about the speed and severity of the epidemic, and the lack of action by countries, noting that the number of confirmed diagnoses outside China had increased 12 times, which was worrying. He called on the world to remain calm and work together to respond to the epidemic.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Public Health Emergency Plan, said that formal use of the “pandemic” would not change WHO’s policies. He also believes that the situation in Iran is very serious, saying that the WHO will continue to pay attention to local conditions and hope that patients will receive more care.
Ryan said that the WHO provided 40,000 sets of virus reagents to Iran in the past 24 hours, but said that the supply was very tight and they were difficult to find other supplies. He pointed to Iran and Italy as the front lines of the epidemic, warned other countries to face the same situation at any time, and mentioned that the public health systems of some countries lacked the ability to respond, so he asked countries to improve the level of surveillance and tracking of virus sources. Tandesser called on all countries to prioritize control measures and consider how to mitigate the epidemic.
The WHO listed the epidemic as “an international public health emergency of concern” on January 30. At that time, the number of confirmed cases outside China was 100 different, and there were 8 human-to-human cases. At present, there are more than 118,000 confirmed cases worldwide, spreading to 114 countries and regions, with 4,291 deaths.
According to WHO’s definition, a “global pandemic” refers to a new type of transmitted disease that is not yet immune to humans, and at the same time in a certain period of time, the epidemic was spreading at an unexpected rate and scale worldwide. Compared with the severity of the epidemic, the more critical indicator of a global pandemic is whether the epidemic crosses geographical restrictions and spreads in many countries around the world.
In the past, epidemics announced by the WHO or historically recognized as “global pandemics” include: Black Death in the 14th century, smallpox at the end of the 19th century, Spanish flu in 1918, and HIV in 1981 The latest one was the 2009 H1N1 epidemic commonly known as “swine flu.”