World Health Organization deeply concerned over escalation of coronavirus cases

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday

In the next few days we will reach 1 million confirmed cases, and 50 thousand deaths.

The head of the World Health Organisation has voiced deep concern about "the rapid escalation and global spread" of the coronavirus that has reached 205 countries and territories.

"In the past five weeks there has been a near-exponential growth in the number of new cases and the number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week", Tedros told a virtual news conference in Geneva where the United Nations health organisation is based.

"The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week".

The announcement comes as figures revealed the number of deaths globally has doubled in the last week, with the United Kingdom recording 563 in one day.

"While relatively lower numbers of confirmed cases have been reported from Africa, and from Central and South America, we realise that COVID-19 could have serious social, economic and political consequences for these regions", Tedros warned.

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"From data we've seen in particular from China, we know that about 75 percent of those identified and listed as asymptomatic actually develop symptoms", she said, describing them as in a "pre-symptomatic phase" The new coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. "These steps can have unintended consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable", Mr Ghebreyesus said.

The director general called on the worldwide community to have debt relief to support these countries "to enable them to take care of their people and avoid economic collapse".

The number of cases for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are not looking good.

He said that many developing countries may struggle to implement social welfare programs up to this scale.

According to the WHO chief, his organization remains committed to providing the latest health guidelines on COVID-19, with updates made regularly as more information is made available.

Dr Ghebreyesus said there was an ongoing debate about the use of masks at a community level and recommended they be used by people who were sick or those who were looking after them.

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