Health

COVID-19 spreads fast, Globally it has now infected more than 350,536 people, according to Johns Hopkins University

With each passing day, the deadly Corona Virus is taking a toll in the world with COVID-19 has now infected more than 350,536 people, according to Johns Hopkins University, and killed at least 15,328 people.
Global cases have more than doubled in the past week, according to the World Health Organization, and worldwide deaths have nearly tripled.
Outside of China, where the virus emerged in December, Italy has the most confirmed cases with nearly 60,000.

Confirmed infections of the rapidly spreading coronavirus surpassed 350,000 worldwide on Monday and global deaths rose past 15,000, as COVID-19 spreads across Europe and North America.

COVID-19 has now infected more than 350,536 people, according to Johns Hopkins University, and killed at least 15,328 people. More than 100,000 people of that tally have recovered, according to Hopkins.

Global cases have more than doubled in the past week, according to the World Health Organization, and worldwide deaths have nearly tripled. Earlier this month, the WHO declared Europe the new epicenter of the outbreak as new cases in China stalled.

Outside of China, where the virus emerged in December, Italy has the most confirmed cases with nearly 60,000. With more than 35,000 confirmed cases, the U.S. has the third-most confirmed infections in the world. U.S. officials have said that number is likely to rise as the country rolls out broader testing across the country.

Italy is among the hardest hit countries outside of China with more than 5,400 deaths, and that number continues to rise by the hundreds everyday. Last week, Italy’s death toll surpassed that of China.

On Friday, WHO officials warned against dismissing the coronavirus as just a bad outbreak of the flu, saying it has overwhelmed health systems around the world in just a few weeks.

“Take one look at what’s happening in some health systems around the world. Look at the intensive care units completely overwhelmed. Doctors and nurses utterly exhausted,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said at a press briefing from the organization’s Geneva headquarters. “This is not normal. This isn’t just a bad flu season.”

As the virus continues to pick up steam in Europe and North America, new cases in China have practically halted, according to Chinese health authorities. Last week, China’s National Health Commission said that new cases in the country had slowed to double digits, most of which were attributed to travelers returning from abroad.

Shortage of personal protective equipment endangering health workers worldwide
WHO calls on industry and governments to increase manufacturing by 40 per cent to meet rising global demand

The World Health Organization has warned that severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse – is putting lives at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others.

But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.

“Without secure supply chains, the risk to healthcare workers around the world is real. Industry and governments must act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding. We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers first,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled.

Supplies can take months to deliver and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder.

WHO has so far shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries,* but supplies are rapidly depleting.

Based on WHO modelling, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month.

Recent WHO guidance calls for the rational and appropriate use of PPE in healthcare settings, and the effective management of supply chains.

WHO is working with governments, industry and the Pandemic Supply Chain Network to boost production and secure allocations for critically affected and at-risk countries.

To meet rising global demand, WHO estimates that industry must increase manufacturing by 40 per cent.

Governments should develop incentives for industry to ramp up production. This includes easing restrictions on the export and distribution of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.

Every day, WHO is providing guidance, supporting secure supply chains, and delivering critical equipment to countries in need.

News Desk

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