Countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, 11 March 2020 (Source: WHO)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has spread to 114 countries and territories and infected more than 118,000 people, latest official figures showed.

The staggering statistics prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11.

“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. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing in Geneva.

The WHO chief noted that in the past two weeks, “the number of cases of Covid-19 case outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.”

WHO data as of March 11 showed that, globally, there are now 118,326 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 4,292 deaths.

In China, the origin of the virus, 80,955 confirmed cases have been recorded, with 3,162 deaths.

Outside of China, there are 37,371 confirmed cases, with 1,130 deaths.

The world is at a “very high risk” of the disease, according to the WHO’s latest assessment.

A total of 81 countries have not reported any cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less, the WHO chief said.

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death,” he said.

“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do,” he added.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.”

Still, all countries can still “change the course of this pandemic,” he said.

“If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission. Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this virus,” he said. (