The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday as the new coronavirus, which was unknown to world health officials just three months ago, has rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia to the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
"We can not say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic," he said.
Declaring a pandemic is charged with major political and economic ramifications, global health experts say.
WHO officials had been reluctant to declare a global pandemic, which is generally defined as an illness that spreads far and wide throughout the world.
It "is clear" the new coronavirus has been a pandemic and WHO was "behind the curve," Gostin told CNBC on Tuesday.
The 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, which is also a coronavirus, was contained enough to avoid that classification.
You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready," Ryan said on Feb. 28. »