According to Reuters news agency, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference today (March 11th) that:
We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,
The same article, however, cites unnamed WHO officials as saying that the term "pandemic" is just a descriptive word and does not carry any legal significance.
What significance, if any, does the characterisation that has been made today have?