WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday, while talking to diplomats in Geneva, said that the coronavirus outbreak is a controllable pandemic. According to a statement released by the World Health Organisation, Tedros outlined two main reasons as to why the decision was taken to describe the epidemic as a pandemic. Tedros said that one reason was the speed and scale of transmission and the others was because "countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it".
Tedros in the statement was quoted as saying, "This is a controllable pandemic. Countries that decide to give up on fundamental public health measures may end up with a larger problem, and a heavier burden on the health system that requires more severe measures to control. All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights."
Tedros further added that almost 1,25,000 cases have now been reported to WHO, from 118 countries and territories. In the past two weeks, the number of cases reported outside China has increased almost 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has almost tripled. There are still 77 countries and territories with no reported cases and 55 countries and territories that have reported 10 cases or less.