Two million dead: “likely” figure by end of COVID-19 pandemic, WHO says

Two million dead from COVID-19, double those killed so far by the novel coronavirus, is a “very likely” figure if all is not done to combat the pandemic, said Friday a senior WHO official.

“If we do not do everything possible, the number [de 2 millions] not only conceivable, but unfortunately very likely, “WHO Emergency Director Michael Ryan responded to a press conference.

“If we don’t continue to do more, to evolve, in the nature and scale and intensity of our cooperation, then yes, we will observe that number – and unfortunately even [des chiffres] higher. The time for action is now, ”added Ryan.

“It’s not just about testing and tracing, not just [d’effectuer] medical care, not only [d’appliquer] social distancing, not just (working on) vaccines, do it all at once, “hammered the expert.

Soon a million dead

“A million is a terrible number and we have to think carefully about it before we consider a second million,” said Ryan.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which began at the end of 2019 in China before spreading over the months throughout the world, is set, in the coming days, to cross the one million death mark.

According to the latest AFP tally, at least 984,068 people had died from COVID-19 worldwide. And more than 32.3 million cases of infection have been officially diagnosed, but the number of infections is thought to be much higher, with many people missing from a census.

The world again recorded a record 2 million confirmed infections last week, according to figures released by the WHO on Sunday. On the other hand, overall the number of deaths decreased over the same period.

On the Old Continent, the WHO underlines that the situations are diverse from one country to another and that the increase in cases is in part linked to greater vigilance, but underlined Maria Van Kerkhove, responsible for the management. of COVID-19, “what is worrying for us is the increase in the number of hospitalizations, an increase in the occupancy rate of beds and intensive care services”.

Call for cooperation

A situation that could be further complicated by the start of the flu season, which could further clog healthcare systems already on the verge of overload.

“Are we determined to take multilateral, global collective action to take control of this virus rather than letting the virus control our lives? Michael Ryan said.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for his part, warned those who bet everything on a vaccine.

“Our message is that while working on vaccines, we must always work harder with the tools that we already have at our disposal,” he said, stressing that this had enabled some countries to master the ‘epidemic.

“When you use these tools already available, you are saving lives now […], you can’t save people today just by praying or just working on vaccines that won’t come until later, ”he insisted.

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