The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom made the proclamation in a press briefing on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time. WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases," Tedros said.
He however called for calm, saying the escalation of the COVID-19 situation should be dealt with carefully.
"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," he said.