As the virus spreads, preventative checks are taking place around the world
The coronavirus outbreak has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
It is a term that the organisation had refrained from using before now.
A pandemic describes a disease that is spreading between people in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was now using the term because of deep concern over “alarming levels of inaction” over the virus.
What is a pandemic?
The description is reserved for an infectious disease where we see significant and ongoing person-to-person spread in multiple countries. The last time a pandemic occurred was in 2009 with swine flu, which experts think killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Pandemics are more likely if a virus is brand new, able to infect people easily and can spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way.
Coronavirus appears to tick all of those boxes.
With no vaccine or treatment that can prevent it yet, containing its spread is vital.(Text courtesy BBC)