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COVID-19 'can be characterized as a pandemic': WHO chief

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    Agence France-Presse

Geneva, Switzerland   /   Thu, March 12, 2020   /   12:23 am
COVID-19 'can be characterized as a pandemic': WHO chief World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference on the situation regarding the COVID-19 at Geneva's WHO headquarters on Feb. 24. The WHO chief declared COVID-19 a “pandemic” after assessing the spread and severity of the outbreak on March 11. (AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

The new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterized as a pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was alarmed by the spread and severity of the outbreak, along with a lack of action taken to combat it.

"COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic," he told reporters in Geneva.

He said he expected the number of cases and deaths would grow in the coming days and weeks.

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus," he said.

He also said hard-hit Iran was trying its best to control the outbreak but needed more supplies.