On Sunday, US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci said the coronavirus "almost certainly is going to be a pandemic."
The WHO defines a pandemic as a "worldwide spread of a new disease."
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls it "a disease that spreads across several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people."
Britain's Health and Safety Executive says a viral outbreak can be characterized as a pandemic if it's "markedly different from recently circulating strains," notably if "humans have little or no immunity" to it.
The New York Times quoted former CDC director Thomas Frieden, saying it's "increasingly unlikely (that the coronavirus) can be contained," adding:
"It is therefore likely that it will spread, as flu and other organisms do, but we still don't know how far, wide, or deadly it will be."
The term pandemic applies to a disease that affects large numbers of people worldwide — clearly not applicable to the coronavirus outbreak based on evidence so far.