The leader of emergencies at the World Health Organization said Monday his agency’s “best estimate” is that roughly one in 10 people throughout the planet may have been infected with the coronavirus and warned that tough days may be ahead in the battle against the virus.
Dr. Michael Ryan made his remarks at a special session of the WHO’s 34-member executive board focusing on COVID-19, The Associated Press reported. Ryan said statistics between urban and rural areas and different groups may vary but the vast majority of the world remains at risk.
Ryan thinks even though the pandemic will evolve, the tools are present to limit transmission and save lives.
“Many deaths have been averted and many more lives can be protected,” he said, AP reported.
Ryan said southeast Asia faces a surge in cases while Europe and the eastern Mediterranean were seeing an uptick while labeling Africa and the Western Pacific “rather more positive.” Nevertheless, he said the world was heading into a difficult period, AP reported.
As of Monday, more than 35 million coronavirus cases and 1 million related deaths have been reported globally, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. The U.S. leads the world in both, with roughly 7.4 million infections and 210,000 deaths.