As the deadly coronavirus infects at least 240 people in Germany, country's Health Minister Jens Spahn has said that COVID-19 outbreak has turned into a “global pandemic” on March 4. He further added even though “the situation is changing very quickly” regarding the fatal virus but has claimed that the worst is yet to come. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has so far stopped short of declaring the epidemic which originated in China as a pandemic.
"The coronavirus outbreak in China has become a global pandemic," Sphan told German lawmakers. "The situation is changing very quickly. What''s clear is that we have not yet reached the peak of the outbreak."
Since the fatal virus has now spread to more than 70 countries and has affected every continent except Antarctica, the WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said earlier that the officials “should not be too eager to declare a pandemic” in the absence of “clear-minded analysis of the facts”. However, the UN health agency has still declared its highest level of alarm which is a public health emergency of international concern. Using the word 'pandemic' could give a signal that the coronavirus can no longer be contained, but Ghebreyesus said that it “is not true”.
According to the official website, Ghebreyesus explained, “Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit, but it does have a significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma, and paralyzing systems”.
However, he later added that the organisation will not “hesitate” in declaring the outbreak a pandemic if “it is an accurate description of the situation”. The UN health agency is closely monitoring the epidemic. Meanwhile, the European Union office in Brussels has reported its first positive case of COVID-19. A spokesperson reportedly confirmed that an employee at the European Defence Agency was tested positive on February 29.
According to an international media outlet, the agency has further cancelled all meetings, and staff who were in close contact have also been sent home and told to self-isolate. More than 3,300 cases have reportedly been detected across Europe and more than two-thirds of them have been in Italy. The death toll in Italy has also jumped to 79. According to reports, Ireland also has two confirmed cases so far.