The coronavirus outbreak was labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 11th of March 2020.
The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.
On the 7th of January 2020, it was announced that the virus (2019-nCoV) had been identified. It is part of the coronavirus family, which includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), and spreads via airborne droplets. The origination of the virus has been tied to the Huanan Seafood Market, which sells primarily fish and shellfish, but also wild game like beavers, porcupines and snakes. You can read more about the spread of the virus in this TIME article.
Watch the full media briefing of the pandemic announcement below,
Media briefing on #COVID19 with @DrTedros. #coronavirus https://t.co/aPFXT3ex5y— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
The world has been placed on high alert, with governments and organisations proactively moving to prevent the spread of the virus.
Here are a few steps you can take to be proactive and use basic protective measures.
The World Economic Forum have also created a strategic intelligence centre to assist in sharing education, insights and important information related to the virus.
You can also stay up to date with developments by watching the WorldOMeter and following the World Health Organisation on social media (@WHO).