The debilitating coronavirus outbreak has now officially been declared a ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation. This means that almost every human being on earth is susceptible to coronavirus disease. The announcement has definitely created a situation of panic amongst the world population. But it was necessary considering the increasing number of coronavirus affected patients, the severity of the infection and the alarming levels of inaction. Also Read - Coronavirus Fear: Remainder of Road Safety World Series to be played Behind Closed Doors
What is Pandemic?
For those who do not know what pandemic means, it is basically an outbreak of a disease that has crossed international boundaries and affected a significant number of the population globally. According to UK’s Health and Safety Executive, a disease or infection can be categorised as a pandemic if human population has zero immunity to it and the disease is affecting people exponentially worldwide. A pandemic disease means it has crossed other levels of severity like sporadic (irregularly and infrequently occurring disease), endemic (constant presence of a disease within a geographical area), and epidemic (a sudden spike in the number cases of a disease within a geographical area). Also Read - IPL 2020 Coronavirus: Will IPL 2020 be Played in Empty Stadiums Due to Coronavirus Pandemic?
What is an Epidemic?
According to the WHO, a disease can be called an epidemic when its occurrence in a community or region is out of control. It is basically a regional outbreak of a disease and not global. It is a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease in an area. And, the number is more than expected. When an epidemic crosses borders and continues to affect people, it is declared as a pandemic. Also Read - Jackfruit Prices Shoot Up as Non-Vegetarians in India Switch To 'Kathal' Due to Coronavirus Scare
Prior to coronavirus (COVID-19), WHO had declared swine flu caused by the H1N1 virus, a pandemic in 2009. Notably, coronavirus started to emerge as a global threat last year in November. It has affected more than 118,000 people worldwide and has claimed the lives of over 4000 people until now. China is the epicenter of the virus that has created a worldwide fear amongst people.