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Is Coronavirus a Pandemic or not?

by Shatakshi

Everyone is watching carefully coronavirus since its inception in China, in December of 2019. Since then, the virus has infected thousands of people in more than seventy countries, and its rapid advance across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe has raised fears that a pandemic could be on the onset. The World Health Organization has mentioned to the outbreak as an “epidemic”, but not a “pandemic.” On Friday, it increased its assessment of the  risk of spread and the risk of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak from “high” to “very high.”

 Difference between an epidemic and a pandemic?

According to the W.H.O., an epidemic is termed as a regional outbreak of an illness that spreads unexpectedly. The C.D.C. calls it “an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected” in that area, whereas the W.H.O. defined a pandemic as “the worldwide spread of a new disease” that affects large numbers of people. The C.D.C. says it is “an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people. usually, an outbreak becomes an epidemic when it becomes very widespread in a particular country, sometimes in a particular region, “Whereas a pandemic is thought to be a wide geographic spread of a disease on many parts of the world, many continents.”

Who declares a pandemic?

Both words are frequently used in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, but how they are used is subjective, and there are no exclusive rules on when to use these words. Last month, the W.H.O. declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the DG of the W.H.O., said the decision whether to use the word “pandemic” was based on “an ongoing assessment” of the geographical spread of the virus, the extent of its effects and its effects on society. So far, health officials have not witnessed “the uncontained global spread” of the virus, or evidence of “large-scale severe disease or death,” Dr. Tedros said.

Why WHO is not declaring COVID-19 spread a Pandemic?

WHO is refraining because the outbreak can still be controlled, and to avoid unnecessary panic. WHO wants to create a seriousness, a purpose, but not an overreaction,” Mr. Gostin said. “Not more travel bans. Not more closures of cities. Not more drain on human rights and economic activity.” Mr. Gostin said the outbreak was still containable, though other experts have disputed that assertion. But if the outbreak reaches a level where it could no longer be controlled, it would move into a pandemic phase. The W.H.O. today does not use a system of six phases, which ranged from Phase 1st in which no reports of animal influenza causing human infections to Phase 6, a pandemic. Groups in various organizations are working to define pandemic for this COVID-19 virus, which will take some time. Till now, most of the reported cases, clusters and outbreaks have been traceable, meaning health officials have not seen evidence of widespread community transmission. Some countries have even slowed or stopped transmission.

Also Read:Countries Evacuating Nationals from Coronavirus Hit Areas of China

Is there any significance to call it as Pandemic?

The words epidemic and pandemic leads to different approaches to deal with health crises. An epidemic spread means that the virus may be geographically limited, and that intervention by health agencies could help stop the spread. For a pandemic, where many places could be hit. When an outbreak covers the globe, international organizations like the W.H.O. and the United Nations have to distribute their resources across greater territory than during a regional epidemic. That makes a pandemic more difficult to manage. The approach to deal with the pathogen could also be different. If cases are everywhere, the authorities might stop trying to prevent it from entering a country and focus instead on trying to treat illness, pace down the virus spread and protect its further spread.

Where has the coronavirus spread?

There have been more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the new Coronavirus across the world, according to a report from the W.H.O. The majority of those cases have been reported in China, where more than 2,700 people have died. Beyond China , the virus has also spread to more than 70 countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, killing at least 57 people.

What is the economic impact of a pandemic?

According to the World Bank, the annual global cost of moderate to severe pandemics is about $570 billion (about £440 billion) or 0.7 percent of the world’s income. The SARS outbreak in 2002-03 – which only infected about 8,000 people – caused about $50 billion in damage to the global economy. Although its mortality rate is lower, the coronavirus could be even more destructive. This is partly because of the world’s greater reliance on China than 17 years ago. China represented just five percent of the world economy during SARS – now it accounts for a fifth, and about a third of global growth. In addition, China’s economy could be more vulnerable now because of the growth of its service sector.

Also Read:New cases of COVID-19 in the United States

 Should people get Panic?

 Health officials warned that the coronavirus will probably spread in the other parts of the world as well, and advised hospitals, businesses, and schools to begin making preparations.

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen. If authorities are taking care of preventive measures, then this spread could be controlled. Cases in the world are going to require an increase in public health measures, said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington. Health officials are still determining whether some countries with coronavirus cases will stabilize, or whether new infections will drive cases up significantly. “The situation could definitely get worse and that needs to be understood,” Dr. Rabinowitz said. “At the same time, it’s sufficiently concerning now that preparations should be underway to be ready for a worsening situation.”

Is the Coronavirus an Epidemic or a Pandemic? It Depends on Who’s Talking

Last week, the World Health Organization stopped short of calling the outbreak a pandemic. Experts indulged in on the debate to explain the. The World Health Organization has referred to the outbreak as an “epidemic” as opposed to a “pandemic.” But in view of many scholars, it has reached that point that it can be called as a Pandemic.

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