1st April, 2020
Director-General World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said confirmed cases of COVID-19 pandemic will soon reach one million.
The tally was 932,214 on Wednesday as the virus continues its inexorable rampage across the world.
“Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new COVID-19 cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area,” Ghebreyesus said.
“The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week.
“In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 50,000 deaths,” he added.
The dynamics of the virus has also changed with the United States becoming the global centre of the virus. It has over 207,000 cases and 4,600 deaths.
Ghebreyesus noted that relatively lower numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported from Africa, Central and South America.
But he said WHO realises that the disease could have serious social, economic and political consequences for these regions.
“It is critical that we ensure these countries are well equipped to detect, test, isolate and treat COVID-19 cases, and identify contacts.
“I am encouraged to see that this is occurring in many countries, in spite of limited resources.
“Many countries are asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement, which can help to limit transmission of the Coronavirus.
“But it can have unintended consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable people,” he said.
Ghebreyesus said he had called on governments to put in place social welfare measures to ensure vulnerable people have food and other life essentials during this crisis.