It’s Official: Coronavirus Is a Pandemic

The WHO has announced the virus will likely spread to all countries in the world.

Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto/Zuma

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The World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, meaning that it will likely spread to all countries worldwide.

There have been more than 118,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 worldwide, according to WHO, and more than 4,000 people have died. The infection has been reported in 114 countries or territories, with the most severe outbreaks in China, Italy, and Iran.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said in a media briefing Wednesday that the global situation would worsen. But instead of focusing on the pandemic classification, he urged people around the world to focus on prevention and preparedness to mitigate the spread of the virus.

WHO’s public health advice remains the same: Practice frequent hand-washing, maintain your distance from people who are sick, avoid touching your face, stay away from large social gatherings when possible, and seek medical care if you have difficulty breathing.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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