Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management opened Philly’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Wednesday. The center will have limited activation starting at noon as a response to COVID-19.
The City of Philadelphia announced it’s first case of CVOID-19 yesterday, and the patient is isolated in their home. The state has at least 15 cases as of 1 p.m on Wednesday.
The World Health Organization has officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic.
WHO’s Director-General’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that “.@WHO is deeply concerned by the alarming levels of the #coronavirus spread, severity & inaction, & expects to see the number of cases, deaths & affected countries climb even higher. Therefore, we made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic. ”
.@WHO is deeply concerned by the alarming levels of the #coronavirus spread, severity & inaction, & expects to see the number of cases, deaths & affected countries climb even higher. Therefore, we made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic. https://t.co/97XSmyigME pic.twitter.com/gSqFm947D8
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 11, 2020
A pandemic is defined as, “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population: a pandemic outbreak of a disease,” according to merriam-webster.com.
WHO reports that worldwide, there have been over 118,000 cases of the COVID-19. The virus has caused the death of over 4,000 people worldwide. It was reported that in America, there have been well-over 696 cases of the illness. 114 countries, areas or territories have cases.
Remarks made by WHO’s Director-General on Wednesday said that it was reported that 81 countries have not reported any cases. It was reported that 57 countries have reported ten cases or less.
WHO’s Director-General’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a press briefing today that, “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”
The Director-General added, “Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”
To help combat the virus, Philly has set up the EOC. A release states that the center will bring together people from different departments, external stakeholders and more, all set in a room to make big decisions, share information and respond to the virus.
Ar release states that some of the organizations involved in this EOC include: the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office, School District of Philadelphia and SEPTA. The release also mentioned that more organizations might become part of this center.
The Office of Emergency Management has set up free texting alerts about the virus. To sign up for the free alerts, you can text COVIDPHL to 888-777. A release states that as of noon on Wednesday, over 15,600 people opted in for the COVIDPHL ReadyPhiladelphia texting service.
Inquirer.com reported that the CDC has given both New Jersey and Pennsylvania help to combat the virus.
New Jersey will receive $15,610,160.20, whereas Pennsylvania is receiving $16,904,048.40 from the fed, according to a White House spokesperson.
It also reported that additionally, Philadelphia will be getting $3,500,000 for COVID-19.
“These funds will allow public health leaders to implement critical steps necessary to contain and mitigate spread of the virus in communities across the country,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement to outlets.
For the latest information about Philly’s response to COVID-19 pandemic, go to phila.gov.