On March 11 World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus COVID-19 a ‘pandemic’. The declaration came after the number of cases reported worldwide reached over 125,000 in over 110 countries. The number of total deaths till the recent count has soared to 4,615.
According to WHO “An influenza pandemic is a global epidemic caused by a new influenza virus to which there is little or no pre-existing immunity in the human population. Influenza pandemics are impossible to predict, and they may be mild, or cause severe disease or death. Severe disease may occur in certain risk groups, which may correspond to those at risk of severe disease due to seasonal influenza. However, healthy persons are also likely to experience more serious disease than that caused by seasonal influenza.”
The most recent pandemic occurred in 2009 and was caused by an influenza A (H1N1) virus. It is estimated to have caused between 100 000 and 400 000 deaths globally in the first year alone.
Director-General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that “@WHO is deeply concerned by the alarming levels of the #coronavirus spread, severity & inaction, & expects to see the number of cases, deaths & affected countries climb even higher. Therefore, we made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic. ”
“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death,” said Dr. Tedros on March 11.
- Mritunjay Sharma finished his B.Sc (H) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in Chemistry. After that he went to England to study Masters in Polymer Material Science and Engineering from University of Manchester and consequently finished his PhD in Nuclear and Materials Chemistry from University of Manchester
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