More than 150,000 new cases of the disease were reported on Thursday, the highest single daily total so far, most of them in the Americas, though large numbers came from South Asia and the Middle East. Globally, there were nearly 7.4 million cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, including more than 450,000 deaths.
WHO Director General
The world is entering a new and dangerous
phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, as infection rates continue to climb, the World
Health Organization (WHO) has said.
150,000 new cases of the disease were reported on Thursday, the
highest single daily total so far, most of them in the Americas, though large numbers
came from South Asia and the Middle East. Globally, there were nearly 7.4 million cases of
COVID-19 as of Friday, including more than 450,000 deaths.
“The world is in a new and dangerous phase.
Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are
understandably eager to open up their societies and economies, but the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly, and most people are still susceptible,” WHO chief
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in a virtual meeting on Friday evening.
Dr Tedros repeated his call for countries and
people to remain vigilant against the disease, and to continue efforts focused
on containing the disease, including thorough testing and contact tracing.
Uganda had registered at least 755 cases of the virus by this morning, with slightly over 400 recoveries.
Filippo Grandi the
UN High Commissioner,
who was a guest at the briefing, held on the eve of
World Refugee Day, marked on Saturday, revealed that humanitarians initially feared
there would be “catastrophic outbreaks” in refugee camps, where it
is difficult to practice physical distancing, among other factors.
So far this has not occurred, he said,
although cases of COVID-19 and small outbreaks have been reported. “WHO’s
support and technical guidance has been invaluable in guarding against
widespread COVID-19 infections in refugee camps,” he said.
it is WHO…that has provided us, throughout these difficult months, with
leadership and technical guidance without which we would not have been able to
achieve whatever we have been able to achieve.”
Globally, nearly 80 million people have
fled their homes due to conflict or persecution, according to the latest report
by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, which Grandi heads. He told journalists that most refugees
actually live in host communities, not camps, some of which have been devastated
by the pandemic.
“I’m thinking of many urban centres in
Africa that hosts large refugee populations. I’m thinking of Afghans in
Pakistan and Iraq, that live - share facilities and accommodation - with
communities that have been impacted very severely by COVID.”