Story at a glance

  • Officials at the world health body warned that the pandemic continues to be a problem, citing growing cases in Europe.
  • The global coronavirus case count hit 30 million Thursday

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the coronavirus is “not going away” as statistics suggest it is killing roughly 50,000 people weekly across the globe, according to CNBC.

This comes as the total COVID-19 case count worldwide surpassed 30 million this week.

“That is not where we want to be,” said Mike Ryan, an executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, during a press conference in Geneva. “It’s not where the Northern Hemisphere wants to be going into the winter season. It’s not where developing countries want to be with their health services under nine months of pressure.”


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The WHO pointed out earlier this week that it is seeing disturbing trends of a resurgence of the virus in Europe as the continent reported about 300,000 new cases in one week, the highest seven-day total since the inception of the pandemic. 

In addition to new cases, Ryan cited that ICU admissions and hospitalization data are also pointing to difficult fall and winter seasons. 

“It has not burned out, it is not burning out, it is not going away,” he continued, “and especially for those countries entering their winter season in terms of people coming together more indoors. There’s a lot of work to do in order to avoid amplification events, drive down transmission of this epidemic, protect the opening of schools, and protect the most vulnerable in our society from severe disease and death.”

Similarly, cases in the U.S. are growing by about 39,000 per day in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia, per CNBC’s analysis of Johns Hopkins data. 

As influenza season approaches, the threat of dueling illnesses stands to overwhelm reeling health care workers systems the world. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s lead of the COVID-19 pandemic, reportedly said on Friday that nations must have a strong plan ahead of new coronavirus outbreaks. 

“What’s really important right now is for countries in their response is that they break down the problem, they break down the outbreak into the lowest administrative level as possible as the data will allow,” she said. “It’s not just about case numbers. These are incredibly important and we need to be able to track these trends but we also need to look at hospitalizations, we need to look at ICU occupancy and how many people are being admitted into intensive care.”


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Published on Sep 18, 2020