GENEVA, March 15 (Xinhua) - A total of 152,428 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease have been reported globally as of Sunday morning, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Fadela Chaib told Xinhua.
An employee in protective gears sprays disinfectant in the wake of coronavirus outbreak inside a train at the Senen train station in Jakarta Indonesia, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (Photo: AP)
Among confirmed infections, 5,720 patients have died, with the number of affected countries and regions rising to 141, Chaib said.
As the virus spreads increasingly worldwide, WHO has characterized COVID-19 as a "pandemic," noting Europe has become the epicenter of the disease.
"By calling COVID-19 a pandemic, WHO's advice to countries and individuals doesn't change," the spokesperson said, stressing a comprehensive, blended approach of both containment and mitigation of COVID-19 should continue.
"To fight this new virus, there is a great need for countries to take immediate actions and scale up response to treat, detect and reduce transmission to save people's lives," said Chaib.
She called on countries to ready emergency response systems, increase detection and care for patients, ensure hospitals have sufficient space, supplies and personnel, and develop life-saving medical interventions.