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COVID-19 officially declared a Pandemic by the WHO

Quick points:


1. COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the WHO as deaths cross 4,000.

2. "We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction," the Director General of the WHO said.

3. This announcement is likely to have major economic and political ramifications.

4. India announced suspension of all tourist visas till April 15 and a 14-day quarantine of any passenger arriving from China, Italy, South Korea, France, Spain or Germany.


As cases climbed to 121,000, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, a term that is defined officially as "the worldwide spread of a new disease." Stating that the organization was "deeply concerned" by the high level of "inaction" by global governments, the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanoum Ghebreyesus, said, "We can not say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic." According to the chief, global inaction has resulted from either a lack of capacity, resources or resolve.


We can not say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.

This announcement is likely to have major political and economic ramifications. The US stock market is bracing for a bear market as the DOW Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1,467 points. India announced that it was suspended all the visas that it has administered and urged its citizens to avoid any and all non-essential travel till April 15. Further, any traveler arriving from or having visited China, Italy, South Korea, France, Spain or Germany after Feb. 15, 2020, "shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days." These measures has been put in place to contain the number of confirmed cases which has nearly doubled since the beginning of last week to at least 60. The health minister early last week announced that the country was prepared and had mobilized its resources in anticipation of such a scenario. It remains to be seen what lasting impact this announcement and the general progression of the disease are likely to have.

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