Coronavirus death toll may hit 2 million even with vaccine, warns WHO

Published: 26 September, 2020 16:21 IST | IANS | Geneva

The number of Covid-19 deaths is fast approaching one million -- nearly nine months after the outbreak started in China

Coronavirus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally
Coronavirus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the global coronavirus death toll could cross the two-million figure before an effective vaccine is widely used.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies head, said the figure could be higher without concerted international action, reports the BBC.

The number of Covid-19 deaths is fast approaching one million -- nearly nine months after the outbreak started in China.

The Covid-19 infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally, led by the US and India.

The US, India and Brazil have confirmed the most coronavirus cases, recording more than 15 million between them.

Ryan also urged Europeans to ask themselves whether they had done enough to avoid the need for lockdowns.

"He questioned whether all the alternatives had been implemented, like testing and tracing, quarantine, isolation, social distancing, wearing masks and hand-washing," the report said late on Friday.

Virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally.

The start of a second surge of coronavirus infections has been seen in many countries in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches.

"Overall within that very large region, we are seeing worrying increases of the disease," Dr. Ryan said about the spike in cases in Europe.

"Lockdowns are almost a last resort -- and to think that we're back in last-resort territory in September, that's a pretty sobering thought," he told reporters at the WHO's headquarters in Geneva.

Asked whether two million fatalities worldwide was possible before a vaccine became available, Dr. Ryan said: "It's not impossible."

"Unless we do it all, the number you speak about is not only imaginable, but unfortunately and sadly, very likely".

Earlier, Spain's capital Madrid brought another eight districts under tougher coronavirus restrictions, which now affect a million people in the city.

In France, staff from bars and restaurants in the southern city Marseille protested against the closure of their workplaces which was brought in on Saturday.

In the UK, tougher restrictions were announced in several regions as new daily infections went up.

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