UN Agency Warns Nations For Scenarios Like Italy

A woman wearing a scarf covering a face mask walks past traditional British red phone boxes near Parliament Square in central London, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. A British government minister Nadine Dorries, who is a junior Heath minster has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self isolating. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the globe:

World Health Organization officials are telling national governments it’s time for aggressive action now that the worldwide coronavirus outbreak has reached the level of a pandemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that with the U.N. health agency’s pandemic declaration on Wednesday, countries were being called upon “to scale up your emergency response mechanisms.”

His advice included: “Ready your hospitals, protect and train your health workers, and let’s all look out for each other because we need each other.”

Illustrating the severity and speed of the virus’ spread, Italian officials said Wednesday evening that coronavirus cases in the country grew to 12,462 infections and 827 deaths.

They attributed the one-day increase to the heavily impacted Lombardy region not fully reporting its numbers on Tuesday.

Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergencies chief, gave a blunt warning about the urgency of the public health emergency.

Ryan said: “Iran and Italy are in the frontline now. They’re suffering, but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation soon.”

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