World is not facing a pandemic yet, says WHO

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus does not yet constitute a “pandemic”.

“Currently we are not in a pandemic,” Sylvie Briand, head of WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, said.

Instead, she said, “we are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci.”

Ms. Briand said that while there is rapid spread of transmission in Hubei, outside the province there are mainly “spillover cases” with sporadic clusters of transmission.

“In these other places in China, the strategy currently is to stop transmission,” she said, adding that the same was true for affected countries outside of China. “We would like to make sure that we don't have a second Hubei type of scenario”.

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