Friday, September 18

Coronavirus is a pandemic in all but name as the infection goes global

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WILL the coronavirus outbreak become a pandemic? It is increasingly looking like it won’t – but only in name. At a press briefing on 25 February, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, expressed a reluctance to use the term until the covid-19 disease spreads more widely and causes more harm, in order, it seems, to prevent fear or panic.

In fact, it looks like the WHO is no longer using any particular official criteria to trigger the use of the word pandemic, although it says it is still prepared to use the …