WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic, calls on all countries to take aggressive action | ABC News

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Coronavirus has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside of China had increased 13-fold in the past two weeks, but added “all countries can change the course of this pandemic”.

The announcement came as new figures from Italy showed the death rate among coronavirus patients in that country was more than 6 per cent, higher than the global average of about 3.6 per cent.

More than 800 people in Italy have now died and hundreds more are being treated for COVID-19 in hospital intensive care units.

Dr Tedros maintained the use of the word pandemic to describe the outbreak would not change the organisation’s response.

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