Coronavirus rages on: Worst day yet for new cases as WHO records 106,000 infected

Coronavirus rages on: Worst day yet for new cases as WHO records 106,000 people newly infected around the world

  • It comes amid increased testing as the virus sweeps across tracts of the globe
  • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference on Wednesday: ‘We still have a long way to go in this pandemic’
  • It’s the latest headache for the UN health boss who is facing a threat of a permanent freeze on funding from US President Donald Trump 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The worst day yet for new cases of coronavirus cases has been recorded, with 106,000 people newly infected around the world, the WHO said on Wednesday.

The UN health agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday there were 106,000 cases reported to WHO – the most in a single day since the outbreak began’ in December.

The new figures come after states around the world have been dramatically ramping up their testing programmes.  

‘We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,’ Tedros told a virtual press conference as his agency warned of rising infection figures in poorer countries.

The UN health agency's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday there were 106,000 cases reported to WHO - the most in a single day since the outbreak began' in December (pictured at the headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday)

The UN health agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday there were 106,000 cases reported to WHO – the most in a single day since the outbreak began’ in December (pictured at the headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday)

More than 4.9 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been registered in total since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said the five million cases mark would be a ‘tragic milestone’.

Tedros added: ‘We’re very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries.’

More than 325,000 people have lost their lives, according to the AFP tally. 

The WHO’s annual gathering of member states agreed Tuesday to an independent probe into the UN agency’s coronavirus response amid mounting US criticism over its handling of the pandemic.

Donald Trump made public later Tuesday a letter he sent to Tedros, saying that if the WHO did not commit to ‘major substantive improvements’ within 30 days, he would permanently freeze funding to the organisation and reconsider US membership.

Donald Trump made public later Tuesday a letter he sent to Tedros, saying that if the WHO did not commit to 'major substantive improvements' within 30 days, he would permanently freeze funding to the organisation and reconsider US membership

Donald Trump made public later Tuesday a letter he sent to Tedros, saying that if the WHO did not commit to ‘major substantive improvements’ within 30 days, he would permanently freeze funding to the organisation and reconsider US membership

The United States is the biggest contributor to the WHO’s budget and has already suspended funding, accusing the organisation of severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus.

Pressed on the ultimatum, Tedros said only: ‘We have received the letter and we are looking into it.’

Brazil's health ministry recommended Wednesday using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat even mild cases of COVID-19 - treatments President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed for despite the lack of conclusive evidence of their effectiveness

Brazil’s health ministry recommended Wednesday using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat even mild cases of COVID-19 – treatments President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed for despite the lack of conclusive evidence of their effectiveness

The WHO agreed that an ‘impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation’ of ‘the actions of WHO and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic’ should be conducted at the ‘earliest possible moment’.

Asked Wednesday when that might be, Tedros said: ‘When all the conditions we need are actually met’. 

Trump on Monday made the surprise announcement that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that his own government experts say is not suitable for fighting the novel coronavirus.

And Brazil’s health ministry recommended Wednesday using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat even mild cases of COVID-19 – treatments President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed for despite the lack of conclusive evidence of their effectiveness.

The WHO’s Ryan stressed: ‘Hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine have been, as yet, found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 – or in the prophylaxis against coming down with the disease.’

The two drugs are among a handful involved in WHO-coordinated clinical trials to find effective treatments for the disease. Some 3,000 patients are taking part in the trials in 320 hospitals across 17 countries.

‘As WHO, we would advise that for COVID-19, that these drugs be reserved for use within such trials,’ said Ryan.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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