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GLOBAL HEALTH

Worldwide coronavirus situation continues to worsen, WHO warns

An anti-government demonstrator holds a poster representing a coffin with the message "30,000 deaths, so what?" during a protest in Manaus, Brazil, June 2, 2020.
An anti-government demonstrator holds a poster representing a coffin with the message "30,000 deaths, so what?" during a protest in Manaus, Brazil, June 2, 2020. REUTERS - BRUNO KELLY
3 min

The World Health Organisation has warned the coronavirus situation is deteriorating worldwide, after a surge in Latin American countries saw the highest single day spike in cases so far.

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Despite improvements in Europe, where countries are opening up again in time for summer, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva that most people globally are still prone to infection.

"The biggest threat is now complacency … More than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal," Tedros said.

"Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it is worsening.”

More than 136,000 cases were reported to the WHO Sunday – 75 percent of which came from 10 countries in the Americas and South Asia.

Even though most African countries have fewer than 1,000 cases, Tedros warned the continent was still seeing an increase in cases.

Protests bring new dangers

Widespread protests against racism in the United States and European have led to fears of a second virus wave, with the WHO urging demonstrators to keep the pandemic in mind.

A migrant labourer from India's Uttar Pradesh state carries his child towards a bus terminus in New Delhi. India locking down its entire population to stem the spread of Covid-19.
A migrant labourer from India's Uttar Pradesh state carries his child towards a bus terminus in New Delhi. India locking down its entire population to stem the spread of Covid-19. AP - Manish Swarup

"WHO fully supports equality and the global movement against racism. We reject discrimination of all kinds,” Tedros said. "We encourage all those protesting around the world to do so safely.”

Figures from the Johns Hopkins University show more than 7 million people around the world have been infected by coronavirus. Of those more than 402,000 have died.

The United States is the worse-affected, with almost 2 million cases, followed by Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom and India.

 With wires

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