World Health Organization declares COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic

The World Health Organization Wednesday declared the outbreak of the new coronavirus a pandemic, but one that can be controlled. (File)

(KWTX) The World Health Organization Wednesday declared the outbreak of the new coronavirus a pandemic, but one that can be controlled.

The assessment comes as Italy weighed even tighter restrictions on daily life and announced billions in financial relief to cushion economic shocks from the coronavirus.

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus,“ WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.”

“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough,” he said.

“All countries can still change the course of this pandemic"-

The death toll in Italy has risen to 631.

In the U.S., more than 1,000 people have been infected. .

Worldwide there are nearly 114,000 confirmed cases, and more than 4,000 deaths.

Most have occurred in China, which has 80,924 confirmed cases and 3,140 deaths.