The total number of coronavirus cases is approaching 1 million worldwide and over 50,000 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday said he was deeply concerned about the “rapid escalation and global spread of infection.”
“Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area,” he said. “The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week.”
The U.S. and Europe have been hit hard by the pandemic. The U.S. has the most confirmed cases in the world with more than 226,000. In Italy, more than 13,900 people have died from the virus, the highest death toll of any country. In Spain, there are more than 110,00 cases and over 10,000 deaths.
Tedros said that developing countries that have not yet reported many cases, including nations in Central America, South America and Africa, need support now in order to prepare for outbreaks and the economic damage that will follow.
“It’s critical that we ensure these countries are well-equipped to detect, test, isolate, and treat cases, and identify contacts,” he said.