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COVID-19 cases will hit 1m within next few days – WHO

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Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), says within the next few days, the world will record one million cases of coronavirus.

According to global statistics, as of Wednesday, more than 800,000 people had been infected, with over 40,000 deaths.

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Ghebreyesus expressed concerns about the “rapid escalation and global spread” of coronavirus.

“As we enter the 4th month since the start of the #COVID19 pandemic, I am deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection. Over the past 5 weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new COVID-19 cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area,” he said.

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“The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed #COVID19 cases, and 50,000 deaths.”

He said although African countries, as well as locations in Central and South America, had recorded “relatively lower numbers” of cases of infection, the effects could be serious in terms of social, economic and political consequences.

“It is critical that we ensure these countries are well equipped to detect, test, isolate and treat #COVID19 cases, and identify contacts – I am encouraged to see that this is occurring in many countries, despite limited resources,” he said.

“Many countries are asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement, which can help to limit transmission of the #coronavirus, but can have unintended consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable people. I have called on governments to put in place social welfare measures to ensure vulnerable people have food and other life essentials during this crisis.”

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