The World Health Organization warned that the number of confirmed cases globally will soon reach 1 million.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus is “deeply concerned” about the “rapid escalation and global spread” of COVID-19.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva on April 1, the WHO director-general said the pandemic has already left more than 45,000 dead, while 900,000 have contracted COVID-19.
Ghebreyesus warned that numbers will continue to increase at a rapid rate, saying: “The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days we will reach 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 50 thousand deaths.”
“Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new COVID-19 cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area,” he added.
The WHO director-general recommended the use of masks to protect medical staff from contracting the virus.
He added, however, that “masks are only effective when combined with other protective measures.”
“WHO continues to gather all available evidence and continues to evaluate the potential use of masks more broadly to control COVID-19 transmission at the community level,” Ghebreyesus explained.
International charities and NGOs have also expressed deep concern about the spread of COVID-19.
Save the Children UK Chief Executive Kevin Watkins warned on March 27 the pandemic could “cost at least three million lives” in sub-Saharan Africa.
He urged African governments to take rapid action as the virus begins to spread through the continent, warning that the coming weeks will be decisive.
The statement called for international cooperation, saying “the window of opportunity for containing the crisis” in sub-Saharan countries is rapidly closing.
“A single global plan to get support to the front-lines where it is desperately needed,” Watkins said.
The number of cases in Africa yesterday, April 1 reached 6,213, according to statistics from the African Union (AU) Center for Disease Control (CDC).
North Africa has the highest number of cases on the continent, with the number of confirmed cases exceeding 2,500.
Morocco has 676 confirmed cases of the virus as of April 2 at 8 a.m., and 39 people have died after contracting COVID-19.