World sees biggest single-day spike with 106,000 new coronavirus cases, US, Russia and India most hit: WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus infections in the space of 24 hours, which is a new global high.
Stating that countries still have a long way to go in this pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that “in the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO – the most in a single day since the outbreak began.” Almost two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries. This includes the US, Brazil, Russia and India. According to experts, there can be delays in reporting at many points in the process, so this single-day record does not mean that these 106,000 people were infected, tested or counted in the last 24 hours.
Former epicenters of the virus such as South Korea and Italy have continued to experience declining rates of infection. But case numbers have continued to rise in nations with less developed healthcare infrastructures. “We’re very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries. Governments in the Assembly outlined their primary goal of suppressing transmission, saving lives and restoring livelihoods. And WHO is supporting the member states to ensure supply chains remain open and medical supplies reach health workers and patients,” said Dr Ghebreyesus during a briefing on May 20. He added, “As we battle Covid-19, ensuring health systems continue to function is an equally high priority as we recognize the risk to life from any suspension of essential services, like child immunization.”
Dr Ghebreyesus said that countries such as South Korea have built on their experience of MERS to quickly implement a comprehensive strategy to find, isolate, test and care for every case and trace every contact. “This was critical to the Republic of Korea curtailing the first wave and now quickly identifying and containing new outbreaks,” he said.
According to WHO, globally, as of May 20, there have been 4,801,202 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 318,935 deaths, which were reported to the organization. The WHO dashboard shows that the US has the largest number of confirmed cases at 1,477,459, followed by Russia (308,705) and Brazil (254,220), as of May 20. The Johns Hopkins tracker shows that 4,996,472 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and 328,115 have died in the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers are updated till May 21. The US has the highest number of cases and deaths: there have been 1,551,668 confirmed cases and 93,439 have died as of May 21. According to reports, all 50 states in the US have started lifting restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The US is followed by Russia (308,705 cases and 2,972 deaths), and Brazil (291,579 confirmed cases and 18,859 deaths), according to Johns Hopkins.
Meanwhile, the World Health Assembly, WHO’s decision-making body, has resolved that there is a global priority to ensure the fair distribution of all quality essential health technologies required to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. The experts said that Covid-19 vaccines should be classified as a global public good for health in order to bring the pandemic to an end.
The resolution also says that collaboration to promote both private sector and government-funded research and development should be encouraged. This includes open innovation across all relevant domains and the sharing of all relevant information with WHO. “An important collaborative response to this resolution will be the Covid-19 technology platform proposed by Costa Rica, which we will launch on the 29th of May, which aims to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products. We call on all countries to join this initiative,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.