The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic . A global coordinated effort is needed to stop the further spread of the virus. A pandemic is defined as “occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.” The last pandemic reported in the world was the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009.
On 31 December 2019, a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province in China, was reported to the World Health Organisation. In January 2020, a previously unknown new virus was identified , subsequently named the 2019 novel coronavirus, and samples obtained from cases and analysis of the virus’ genetics indicated that this was the cause of the outbreak. This novel coronavirus was named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by WHO in February 2020. The virus is referred to as SARS-CoV-2 and the associated disease is COVID-19.
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