The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has reached more than 100,000 over the last 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that around two-thirds of the cases of coronavirus just came from four countries.
“We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” said Tedros during a press conference Wednesday at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.
According to WHO’s daily report, most of the new confirmed cases are coming from the Americas and Europe. US coronavirus cases have reached 45,251 on Tuesday, according to the agency. Meanwhile, Russia remains to have the second-most reported cases as of Tuesday at 9,263, WHO says.
Moreover, there are almost five million coronavirus cases worldwide. The coronavirus pandemic already killed 325,000 people since the virus started in Wuhan, China, less than five months ago, based on the data from Johns Hopkins University.
“No going back to business as usual”
The WHO has been telling leaders of different countries that there can be “no going back to business as usual” even if the coronavirus outbreak subsides. The coronavirus pandemic has upset economies and damaged countries around the world.
Countries are asked to manage around the coronavirus as cases decline in some countries, peak in others, and enter resurgence in areas where the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to be under control.
WHO clarifies that the novel coronavirus remains “extremely dangerous” even if social distancing measures effectively slowed the spread of the virus.
The health experts added that existing data show “most of the world’s population remains susceptible,” meaning outbreaks can easily “reignite.”
Funding from US
The new cases arise as President Donald Trump warns WHO that US may permanently suspend funding from the agency.
According to the president, if WHO “does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.”
Meanwhile, WHO officials expressed their concern about their emergency programs that may suffer should the US president take such action.
Funds from the US are used directly to the program that helps countries in “all sorts of fragile and difficult settings,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program.
“We’ll obviously have to work with other partners to ensure those funds can still flow,” Ryan said. “This is going to be a major implication for delivering essential health services to some of the most vulnerable people in the world and we trust developed donors will, if necessary, step in to fill that gap.”
According to Tedros, WHO is “very concerned” about the increase in cases in low- and middle-income countries.
He added that South Korea has been “impressive,” taking action based on its experience of the MERS coronavirus “to quickly implement a comprehensive strategy to find, isolate, test & care for every case, & trace every contact.”
“This was critical to the Republic of Korea curtailing the first wave and now quickly identifying and containing new outbreaks,” he said.