According to the WHO, countries need to act over the COVID-19 outbreak in order to avert a possible pandemic.
They also called the sudden increase of deaths from the virus in Italy ‘deeply concerning’.
The Italian authorities have confirmed 7 deaths due to the virus and it’s spreading from the north after a patient was tested positive on Monday in the capital of Sicilia, Palermo.
Italy is the first EU member state with deaths from the virus.
The EU has pledged 230 million Euros to help Italy fight off the spreading of the virus; however, they didn’t mention any restrictions on trade or travelling.
Will the Coronavirus Be Pronounced a Pandemic?
The Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, said that the epidemic has been slowly decreasing after peaking between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February.
And, he also said that it’s not the right time to declare it a pandemic. He emphasized that the virus is already a public health emergency or the highest alarm level.
He said that the word pandemic isn’t in accordance with the facts; but, it certainly triggers panic and using this word won’t help avert an infection or save a life.
Though they don’t have data of uncontained global spread, the virus is definitely with a potential to transform into a pandemic.
The outbreak continues being monitored by the authorities and they’re doing everything they can to avert a possible pandemic.
Italians Are Already Feeling the Effects of the Virus’s Spread
Italians travelling overseas are already feeling the impact- a bus from Milan was stopped by police in Lyon, France due to reports for a passenger suspected to have the virus’s symptoms.
According to the national health agency of France, they were just evaluating the situation.
Italy had to lock down at least 10 towns in the northern part after a cluster of cases. The police are manning checkpoints in quarantined towns and regulating queues at some stores as the citizens were piling up on food.
The Civil Protection Chief of Italy, Angelo Borrelli, urged his fellow citizens to abide by the measures for the 2-week quarantine.
He said that ‘it will be good for us and good for others’.
A lot of the cases in the first infections in Italy have been acquired through a secondary contagion. Several of the cases were at the same hospital in the Codogno, one of the towns on lockdown.
The mayor released a decree which ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, schools, and other public gathering areas like gyms and discos.
The ministry of health advised the residents to stay home.
One man at the age of 38 was hospitalized there and his wife and friend also caught the virus. 5 medical staff personnel are also positive to the virus.
Because of the increase in cases, the authorities suspended the famous Venice carnival.