Number of daily new coronavirus cases exceeded 160,000 every day the past week: WHO

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The world reported more than 160,000 new coronavirus cases every day over the past week, said World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a virtual briefing on Wednesday.

Tedros highlighted that according to the WHO tally there are now more than 10.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and more than 506,000 deaths, and added that 60 percent of the total number of infections reported since the start of the pandemic been reported just in June.

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He also stressed that countries should “take a comprehensive approach.”

“Find, isolate, test and care for every case, trace and quarantine every contact, equip and train health workers and educate and empower communities to protect themselves and others. Not testing alone. Not physical distancing alone. Not contact tracing alone. Not masks alone. Do it all,” Tedros said.

He mentioned how experts anticipated “flare-ups” in COVID-19 infections as countries start to ease coronavirus-related restrictions.

“We are concerned that some countries have not used all the tools at their disposal and have taken a fragmented approach… These countries face a long, hard road ahead,” he said.

Coronavirus in MENA

WHO’s regional director for the Easter Mediterranean, Dr Ahmad al-Mandhari, spoke about the region comprising of much of the Middle East and North Africa and considered to be the “third-most affected region globally, after the Americas and Europe.”

“A few days ago, our Region passed its own significant and concerning milestone, with more than one million people now infected with COVID-19. The number of cases reported in June alone is higher than the total number of cases reported during the four months following the first reported case in the Region on 29 January,” al-Mandhari said.

He highlighted that despite Syria and Yemen reporting fewer cases, WHO is operating on the assumption that “the virus is widespread and are concerned about the ability of their weakened health system to detect and control its spread.”

He advised governments in the region to “aggressively scale up the proven public health measures that we know control the spread of the virus - detection, testing, isolation, treatment and contact tracing - now more than ever before.”

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