The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday officially declares Corona Virus outbreak as pandemic. This is defined as a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold in two weeks. He said he was “deeply concerned” by the “alarming levels of inaction”.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte then announced an escalation in the country’s ongoing lock-down.
He said the majority of shops as well as bars, hairdressers, restaurants and cafes that could not guarantee a meter’s distance between customers would close until 25 March.
Italy has more than 12,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of 827. Nearly 900 people with the virus in Italy were in intensive care, the WHO said.
Elsewhere, Denmark – which has 514 confirmed cases, up 10-fold since Monday – is to close all schools and universities from Friday. The government also urged the cancellation of events with more than 100 people attending.
India suspended most visas for foreigners until 15 April and Guatemala banned European citizens from entering from Thursday.
Meanwhile, the UK is expected to switch to tactics aimed at delaying the spread of the virus rather than containing it.