The head of the World Health Organization on Tuesday said that even though the coronavirus pandemic is ebbing in some countries that were badly-affected initially, the number of new cases is growing faster than ever, with more than one lakh reported each day.
“Globally, more than 7.8 million cases of Covid-19 have now been reported to WHO and more than 430,000 deaths,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press briefing. “It took more than two months for the first 1,00,000 cases to be reported. For the past two weeks, more than 1,00,000 new cases have been reported almost every single day.”
Ghebreyesus said that almost 75% of the recent cases come from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia. “However, we also see increasing numbers of cases in Africa, Eastern Europe, central Asia and the Middle East,” he added. “Even in countries that have demonstrated the ability to suppress Covid-19 transmission, countries must stay alert to the possibility of resurgence.”
The global health body also took note of a new cluster of Covid-19 cases in Beijing after more than 50 days without an infection in the city. This has sparked fears of a new wave of infection in China, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged last year. “More than 100 cases have now been confirmed,” Ghebreyesus said. “ The origin and extent of the outbreak are being investigated.”
The WHO said that despite the ongoing global response to the pandemic, the world can not lose sight of other significant public health issues, including influenza, which “affects every country every year, and takes its own deadly toll”.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 80.14 lakh people so far, and killed more than 4.36 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University.