The new coronavirus which has stricken tens of thousands of people in Asia is not yet a pandemic, but has the potential to become one if countries do not work together to slow its spread, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Concern about possible widespread global infection has increased in recent days, as cases have risen significantly in countries other than China, including Iran, Italy and South Korea, prompting some experts to warn that the coronavirus is already at pandemic levels. However, the WHO urged preparedness over panic.

“Does this virus have unlimited potential? Absolutely,” WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing. “Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet.”

“For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death,” he said.

Again, according to the WHO chief :”Using the word, pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear. We do not live in a binary, black-and-white world. It’s not either or. We must focus on containment, while doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic”-@DrTedros #COVID19

Courtesy: World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 24, 2020