WHO Director-General: "COVID-19 can be characterized as pandemic"
Update: Mar 12, 2020
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that it has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the above statement at a press briefing this afternoon.
He went on to say that "we have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 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.
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.  
There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives. 
Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals./.
Thuy Dung/VGP