The US remains the hardest hit country in the world with more than 1.5 million cases and 92,000 deaths so far.
Rabat – The World Health Organization (WHO) recorded today the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, with 106,000 new infections in the last 24 hours.
“Almost two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a news conference yesterday.
The US remains the hardest hit country in the world with more than 1.5 million cases and 92,000 deaths so far, followed by Russia with more than 317,000 infections, Brazil with more than 293,000, and the UK with more than 248,000.
Worldwide, the virus has infected more than five million people and claimed the lives of more than 327,000, according to WHO. However, with a low testing rate in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and some Asian countries, the total number of infections is likely to be higher.
The head of WHO has warned on several occasions that the pandemic is far from over, and that countries should think very carefully before deciding to lift the lockdown.
Ghebreyesus also warned the world still has “a long way to go in this pandemic”
WHO’s emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan spoke during the same conference about the latest briefing against the use of Malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19.
“At this stage, neither hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine have been as yet found to be effective in the treatment of Covid-19, nor in the prophylaxis against coming down with the disease,” Dr Ryan said.
“In fact, the opposite, in that warnings have been issued by many authorities regarding the potential side effects of the drug.” he added.
Despite WHO’s concerns, several countries including Morocco, continue to adopt the medicine as one of their main means to fight the virus.
During a COVID-19 media briefing on May 11, Ghebreyesus announced six criteria that countries should meet before beginning to lift their lockdowns.
The WHO chief recommended these willing countries answer three questions:
- Is transmission under control?
- Is the health system able to identify and treat all cases and trace every contact?
- Are outbreaks minimized in “special settings” such as health facilities and nursing homes?
The three reference questions are part of a strategy based on the latest scientific evidence on the virus, and add to three other criteria that WHO prescribes for countries considering lifting lockdowns:
- Countries should have preventive measures in place in workplaces, schools, and public spaces where it is essential for people to go.
- Countries should be able to manage the risks of importation.
- Communities should be fully educated, engaged, and empowered to adjust to the “new norm.”