Coronavirus disease 2019 also known as COVID-19 is now characterized as pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization.
“We have therefore made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” said WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the recent WHO media briefing.
“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,” Dr. Tedros added.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population, while epidemic refers to a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected.
As of the press time, there are around 121,564 confirmed cases according to the real-time data monitoring by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University, USA.
The Philippines has 49 confirmed cases with two deaths, as reported by the Department of Health.