A pandemic (from Greek πᾶν, pan, “all” and δῆμος, demos, “people”) is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region, for instance, multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of people. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic. Widespread endemic diseases with a stable number of infected people such as recurrences of seasonal influenza are generally excluded as they occur simultaneously in large regions of the globe rather than being spread worldwide.
During the period of scaling-up in a pandemic, adequate medical resources are still available but there are mandated reductions in surgery and/or consultations in order to free-up intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, reduce the use of protective personal equipment (PPE), and decrease hospital traffic to mitigate viral spread within health care settings 1).
COVID-19 has high homology to other pathogenic coronaviruses, such as those originating from bat-related zoonosis (SARS-CoV), which caused approximately 646 deaths in China at the start of the decade. The mortality rate for COVID-19 is not as high (approximately 2-3%), but its rapid propagation has resulted in the activation of protocols to stop its spread. This pathogen has the potential to become a pandemic. It is therefore vital to follow the personal care recommendations issued by the World Health Organization 2).