‘Covid-19 death toll worldwide could double to 20 lakh even before a vaccine comes out’, warns WHO

It’s been 10 months since the Covid-19 pandemic was first reported in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. Phases and phases of the outbreak have consumed lakhs of innocent lives and the numbers continue to rise.

Even with all the technological and scientific advances around the world, scientists are yet to invent a vaccine to fight back this deadly coronavirus and with the winter season fast approaching, the situation is only expected to get grim from here.

Notwithstanding the fact that already around 3.23 crore people have been infected by the Covid-19 virus, experts at the World Health Organization has now claimed that the global death toll due to the pandemic could double by the time an effective cure is found.

As of now, around 10 lakh people across the world have succumbed to the disease and as per the global health watchdog’s prediction that figure is set to race past 20 lakh in the next six months, if not less.

The trials for a vaccine are going on across the world, with Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Germany and India conducting human trials of the potential cure. However, all of them are yet to get a breakthrough in this regard and the apprehension whether the vaccine will be available for all still makes one jittery.

WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan on Friday said the current projection could rise further without concerted international action.

When asked if the fatalities worldwide could surge past 20 lakh before a vaccine was found, Ryan said, “It’s not impossible”.

He urged Europeans to introspect whether they had “done enough” to avoid the need for lockdowns.

“Lockdowns are almost a last resort…and to think that we are back in the last-resort territory in September, that’s a pretty sobering thought,” Ryan told media persons at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, the BBC reported.

Ryan further questioned if countries had implemented all possible alternatives, such as testing and tracing, quarantine, isolation, social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands regularly.

An overview

The US and India, the top two worst-hit countries, together have more than 1.3 crore cases of coronavirus, followed by Brazil, Russia and Colombia. 

As far as casualties are concerned, the US leads the chart even there with more than 2 lakh deaths, followed by Brazil (over 1.4 lakh), India and Mexico.

Cases in India continue to spike at a steady rate though the average daily infections have come down in the past few days. However, it is important to note here that while many countries are going through their third phase of infection, India is till grappling with its first bout of outbreak.

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