Coronavirus: WHO Forecasts 10 Million Cases

The threshold of ten million cases of COVID-19 in the world should be reached next week, while the epidemic has not yet reached its peak in the Americas region, warned WHO on Wednesday.

Michael Ryan, director of health emergencies at the World Health Organization, said on Wednesday, “a continuing and worrying trend, with many countries experiencing increases of 25-50% during the week last ”.

“The epidemic in the Americas is very intense, especially in Central and South America,” he said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic in many countries on the American continent has not reached its peak,” he added.

For his part, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the WHO, declared, during the same virtual press conference, “that during the first month of this epidemic, less than 10 000 cases were reported to the WHO. In the past month, nearly 4 million cases have been reported. We expect to reach a total of 10 million cases next week. ”

He welcomed the decision of the Saudi authorities to allow only a thousand people to make the great pilgrimage to Mecca this year, stressing that “this is another example of the difficult choices that all countries must make to give the priority to health ”.

Worse than expected

The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 478,818 people worldwide since China officially announced the appearance of the disease in December.

More than 9,326,400 cases of infection have been officially diagnosed in 196 countries and territories, a figure that all experts agree is certainly underestimated.

Economists at the International Monetary Fund revised their estimates of the impact of the virus on the global economy on a more dramatic note on Wednesday.

The IMF warned that this “crisis like no other” was not only much worse than expected, but that the recovery would be slower than expected.

Thus, the world economy should shrink by 4.9% this year: much more than the 3% expected in April in the heart of the pandemic, when the IMF already stressed that it was the worst crisis since the Great Depression of the thirties.

And for some countries, particularly in Europe, the contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) is staggering: -12.5% ​​for France, -12.8% for Spain and Italy.

Even though global GDP is expected to rebound 5.4% in 2021, the IMF admits that the forecasting exercise is affected by an unprecedented degree of uncertainty.

In several European countries which, on the basis of encouraging health statistics, thought they were out of the woods, the prospects were gloomy and the specter of a second wave came to haunt officials and public opinion.

British health professionals are therefore worried about a resurgence of the pandemic, the day after the announcement of the most important phase of deconfinement from 4 July.

In Germany, presented as a model for managing the pandemic, more than 600,000 people have been reconfigured after the emergence of a major outbreak of contamination from the largest slaughterhouse in Europe, in the west of the country.

In Slovenia, the wearing of masks is reimposed in places and public transport. In Croatia, a quarantine obligation, which had been lifted, is reinstated for travelers from the Balkans, where the contamination figures have started to rise again.

The celebrations or rallies on the public highway “endanger months of collective effort” to fight against the coronavirus, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes warned.

In front of the press, she reacted to images that had gone viral on social networks, showing several hundred people partying on the night of Saturday to Sunday in a district of Brussels well known to night owls.

In Italy, medical authorities are concerned about the relaxation of the population, as evidenced by the drop in sales of masks – not found at the start of confinement -, while the beaches are crowded and festive aperitifs are increasing in the country that has registered 34,657 dead.

Caution is also required in Spain, where Catalonia has reversed its decision to authorize the reopening of nightclubs, allowing only people who already know each other to dance, and only in restaurants or hotels.

Reviewer overview

Coronavirus: WHO Forecasts 10 Million Cases - /10

Summary

The threshold of ten million cases of COVID-19 in the world should be reached next week, while the epidemic has not yet reached its peak in the Americas region, warned WHO on Wednesday.

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