Amid the rising cases of coronavirus affliction, World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified coronavirus as a pandemic. WHO declares a disease as a pandemic, when such a disease or infection spreads on a global scale. Pandemic is associated with the geographical spread but not any characteristics in the disease or infection itself.
Meanwhile, India has reportedly invoked Section 2 of Epidemic Diseases Act to deal with coronavirus. On 10 March, as per the travel advisory issued by the government of India in response to coronavirus outbreak, all visas, and e-visas issued to nationals of France, Germany, and Spain who have not entered India stand suspended with immediate effect. It has also suspended most visas for foreigners until 15 April.
As per reports, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a media interaction has stated that “the WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and is deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” He further called on the governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking ‘urgent and aggressive action’.
Accordingly, as per sources, in the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold and the number of affected countries has tripled. According to the World Health Organization, more than 118,000 have been infected globally, of those, over 66,000 have recovered, according to John Hopkins University, which is tracking the virus.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump has reportedly announced new measures to address the country’s growing outbreak. On the other hand, Italy has tightened the quarantine it imposed across the country with all but essential services and shops to close for two weeks, after leaders from the European Union promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to tackle the coronavirus.
Further, on 11 March, South Africa’s Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed six more cases of coronavirus to have been detected in the country, marking the total number of infected to 13.
The Prime Minister of Europe Giuseppe Conte urged to close all the bars, hairdressers, restaurants, and cafes that could not guarantee a meter’s distance between customers and non-essential company departments.
Meanwhile in India, earlier on Thursday, 2 employees from tech companies, Mindtree & Dell have been tested positive of the coronavirus. As per sources, both these employees have a travel history to abroad. Besides, in what could be the first death due to coronavirus in India, a patient suspected of being infected with the COVID-19 virus has died in Hyderabad.
As per the WHO’s emergency head, Michael Ryan, Italy has more than 12,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of 827 from the deadly outbreak of coronavirus. Nearly 900 people with the virus were in intensive care. He further stated that the situation in Iran, where the official figures are 354 deaths among 9,000 cases as ‘very serious’. Although the WHO has sent 40,000 testing kits to Iran but there was still a shortage of ventilators and oxygen.
The government of Denmark, which has 514 confirmed cases, up 10-fold since Monday, but no deaths so far. The government has also scheduled to close all schools and universities from 13 March and it further urged to cancel all the events with more than 100 people attending.
The Koch Institute for infectious diseases confirmed that in Germany the number of cases related to Coronavirus has been increased from 1,296 to 1,567.
The Indian Government also ‘strongly advised’ Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. Further, the Union Ministry has confirmed that a total number of 73 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been registered in India, which includes 16 Italians tourists. As per sources, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has stated that, so far, India has evacuated 948 passengers from COVID-19 affected countries.