WHO sees ‘intense transmission’ of virus in relatively few countries

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries. (AP pic)

GENEVA: The World Health Organization is seeing intense transmission of the coronavirus in relatively few countries, its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Thursday.

“We continue to see intense transmission in a relatively small group of countries,” he told a virtual briefing in Geneva.

“Two-thirds of all cases are from 10 countries. Almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries.”

US coronavirus cases exceeded 4 million on Thursday, with over 2,600 new cases every hour on average, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections in the US have rapidly accelerated since the first case was detected on Jan 21. It took the country 98 days to reach 1 million cases. It took another 43 days to reach 2 million and then 27 days to reach 3 million.

It has only taken 16 days to reach 4 million at a rate of 43 new cases a minute.

Tedros also said that just because cases may be at a low level where someone lives, it doesn’t mean they should let down their guard.

“Know your situation — do you know how many cases were reported where you live yesterday? Do you know how to find that information? Do you know how to minimise your exposure?”

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