Officials at the World Health Organization announced the dangerous new coronavirus spreading throughout the world has now developed into a pandemic as cases and deaths continued to rise worldwide.
“WHO. has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director General at a press conference Wednesday.“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”
The WHO had been slow to declare a pandemic as the virus has made its increasingly unrelenting spread throughout the globe over a period of months. On Wednesday, 2,300 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed worldwide just in the preceding 24 hours alone.
The most severely affected countries continued to brace for additional cases and more deaths. In Italy, the death toll from the virus jumped to over 196 over the last day, raising the number of total fatalities in one of the hardest hit countries from the deadly pandemic to 827.
Amid the spread of the new coronavirus in the United States, the federal government has now shifted from a containment strategy into a mitigation phase. There are currently at least 10 cases in Indiana and over 30 people have died from the virus in the U.S.
Despite a critical initial lag in the U.S. for the testing for the new coronavirus, Senator Mike Braun, R-Indiana, has confidence in the government's response to the public health crisis.
“I think we got out of the gate slowly with the test kits and I think we’ve rectified that,” Senator Braun said. “I think when you put the Vice President as your point person of this, and you look at the CDC, the National Institute of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, the FDA, we’ve got everybody at full alert."