All about COVID-19

Watch | Why is COVID-19 not a pandemic yet?

A video explainer on WHO definition of a pandemic and why COVID-19 has not been declared as a pandemic yet

On February 26 the number of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) cases reported in a single day was more outside China than within.

412 newly confirmed cases were reported from China while 459 cases were reported from elsewhere. For the first time, since the COVID-19 outbreak began in China, the spread of the virus has seen a sudden increase outside China.

As on February 27, 3,346 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported from 49 countries outside mainland China. Five countries in the WHO South-East Asia region - Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal Taiwan -  have reported SARS-CoV-2 infections. South Korea has the most number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections outside mainland China with 1,766 cases and 13 deaths.

On February 26, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a press briefing. He made it clear that WHO will not declare COVID-19 a pandemic at this moment. By not calling it a pandemic right away, he did clarify that it does not mean WHO considering the spread to be less serious.

In 2010, WHO defined a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease. Unless it is influenza, WHO generally avoids declaring diseases as pandemics. This change came about after the lessons learned from the last pandemic reported, the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic.

Fourteen countries have managed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and no new case has been reported for more than a week. Though the average incubation period is five-seven days, a few have shown up symptoms at the end of 24 days. The Indian Ministry of Health has advised people to avoid all non-essential travel to countries where community spread of the virus is reported. Particularly Singapore, South Korea, Iran and Italy.

Read more: What is the World Health Organisation’s stand on the outbreak? Have most countries been able to check the spread of the coronavirus?

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 2:37:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/why-is-covid-19-not-a-pandemic-yet/article30970627.ece

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