COVID-19 Outbreak to Affect 1 Million People in Coming Days, WHO Says
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COVID-19 Outbreak to Affect 1 Million People in Coming Days, WHO Says 

Last updated on May 19th, 2020

As the world enters the fourth month since the outbreak of coronavirus, the WHO is “deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection”. The organisation estimates more than 50,000 deaths in the upcoming few days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

During a news briefing at the Geneva headquarters this week, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area.”

“The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days we will reach 1 million confirmed cases, and 50 thousand deaths,” he added.

The situation has become so dire that almost every country has at least one positive case. Addressing the situation in Africa, Central and South America, where the number of cases are not so high, Tedros said the COVID-19 outbreak could still cause “serious social, economic and political consequences” in these regions.

“It is critical that we ensure these countries are well equipped to detect, test, isolate and treat cases, and identify contacts. I am encouraged to see that this is occurring in many countries, despite limited resources”, Tedros said.

The last time when WHO had declared a pandemic was during the H1N1 swine flu outbreak in 2009. The outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003 was contained before it could be declared a pandemic, although that too was a form of coronavirus.

When most of the countries are under a lockdown and people are staying in quarantine, WHO says this isn’t enough, however, it is necessary to contain the spread of the virus. Health officials say no matter what the impact of the lockdown would be on the economy of the country, it is imperative to get the situation under control.

“This is serious. This is a deadly virus, people will get through it, countries will get through it,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program. More than 45,000 people have already died due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with over 890,000 people infected with

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