World Health Organization reports highest single-day increase in cases of Covid-19


The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to surge around the world, with the most virus cases reported to the World Health Organisation in a single day.

The WHO had last week warned of a new and unsafe phase of the coronavirus pandemic, with people tiring of lockdowns despite the disease's rapid spread.

"The pandemic is still accelerating", Dr Tedros told the online conference yesterday.

"Its effects will be felt for decades to come".

Researchers led by a team from the University of Oxford administered dexamethasone to more than 2,000 severely ill patients hospitalised with the new coronavirus.

More than 8.53 million people have been reported infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 453,834 have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 1326 GMT on Friday.

"The next challenge is to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most".

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Some countries have attributed their growing number of cases to more testing, including India and the United States, but WHO's emergencies chief Dr Michael Ryan has dismissed that explanation. "From that perspective, we would say that this trend is not reflective of exhaustive testing, but probably underestimating the actual number of cases".

"The world is in a new and unsafe phase", Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

Brazil falls into that bracket with President Jair Bolsonaro comparing the virus to a "little flu" and arguing that the economic impact of shutdowns is often worse than the virus itself.

"There are many countries right now that have had success in suppressing transmission and bringing human-to-human transmission to a low level that are starting to see increasing cases", World Health Organization epidemiologist and technical lead on the pandemic Maria Van Kerkhove said, naming South Korea as one of them.

Mexico, Peru and Chile are also coping with severe crises - Mexico City being forced to delay plans for a broad reopening of the economy as the country's death toll raced past 20,000.

"It seems that nearly every day we reach a new and grim record", Tedros said. The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on June 18.

In neighbouring Croatia, Borna Coric became the second top tennis player, after Grigor Dimitrov, to test positive after taking part in an exhibition tournament featuring world number one Novak Djokovic.