Over 10 million coronavirus cases registered worldwide

Latin American countries such as Peru have seen the virus spreading most rapidly in recent weeks. (AP)
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Updated 28 June 2020

Over 10 million coronavirus cases registered worldwide

  • Lack of testing and asymptomatic cases means the figure of 10 million is likely to represent just a fraction of the real total

PARIS: The total number of coronavirus cases has topped 10 million globally, according to an AFP tally on Sunday, as the pandemic surges particularly in the United States and Latin America.
At least 10,003,942 infections, including 498,779 deaths, have been registered around the world, according to a count at 0930 GMT based on official sources.
Europe remains the hardest hit continent with 2,637,546 cases including 195,975 fatalities, while the United States has 2,510,323 infections including 125,539 deaths.
The rate of infections worldwide has doubled since May 21, with one million new cases recorded in just the last six days.
In Latin America alone, more than 400,000 new cases were registered in the past week, while India’s total topped 500,000 on Saturday, with a record 18,500 in one day.
The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.
Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases and some do not have the capacity to carry out widescale testing.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of people infected in the United States is 10 times the official figures, or more than 20 million people.
The disease is gaining ground in 30 of the 50 states, mainly the biggest and most populous in the south and west such as California, Texas and Florida.
In Latin America and the Caribbean the virus is spreading the most rapidly. Between June 21 and 27 the region registered 408,401 new cases, compared with 253,624 in the US and Canada and 121,824 in Europe.
In total, Latin America has 2,432,558 infections with 110,695 deaths.
Brazil is the worst affected with 1,313,667 cases — 246,088 in the last seven days, followed by Peru (a total of 275,989 with 24,651 new in the last week), Chile (267,766 total, 31,018 new), Mexico (212,802 total, 37,600 new) and Colombia (88,592 total, 22,959 new).
Asia is also facing a surge in cases, particularly in India which has a total of 528,859 infections including 118,398 over the past seven days.
India is followed by Pakistan (202,955 total, 26,338 new) and Bangladesh (137,787 total, 25,481 new).
In Europe, the number of cases recorded daily has stabilized over the past month at fewer than 20,000, but the World Health Organization has warned of a “significant resurgence” on the continent.
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WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of COVID-19

Updated 07 July 2020

WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of COVID-19

  • WHO previously said the virus spreads through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth that quickly sink to the ground
  • New evidence shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in

GENEVA: The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.
“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing.
The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
But in an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.
Because those smaller exhaled particles can linger in the air, the scientists are urging WHO to update its guidance.
Speaking at Tuesday’s briefing in Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said there was evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, but that it was not definitive.
.”..The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings — especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” she said.
“However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this.”
Any change in the WHO’s assessment of risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping 1-meter (3.3 feet) of physical distancing. Governments, which rely on the agency for guidance policy, may also have to adjust public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Van Kerkhove said the WHO would publish a scientific brief summarising the state of knowledge on modes of transmission of the virus in the coming days.
“A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission,” she said.
“This includes not only physical distancing, it includes the use of masks where appropriate in certain settings, specifically where you can’t do physical distancing and especially for health care workers.”