It was only a matter of time. The World Health Organization has today declared the worldwide outbreak of the highly-contagious coronavirus a pandemic.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, said on Wednesday they have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.

“We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries climb even higher. WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock,” Ghebreyesus told reporters at a press conference. “And we’re deeply concerned. Most by the alarming levels of spread and severity. And by the alarming levels of inaction.”

“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic,” he stressed.

At this point, there are more than 118 000 cases of Coronavirus in 114 countries which have lead to 4 291 deaths.

Today, a 36-year-old male who travelled to multiple countries is now the Western Cape’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus. He recently visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey.

He returned to South Africa on March 9 and is one of six new confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa. The Health Department has not yet released the exact location of the Western Cape’s first confirmed case.

– The provincial landing page for coronavirus information:

– Public Hotline: 0800 029 999

– WHO contact page:

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.