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WHO Official Says Watching For Rise in Coronavirus Deaths

WHO Official Says Watching For Rise in Coronavirus Deaths

The emergencies chief of the World Health Organization says the coronavirus is continuing to gain pace globally. Noting the marked increase in the number of confirmed cases being reported in the past five or six weeks, he warned that a spike in deaths could be soon to follow.

“In April and May, we were dealing with 100,000 cases a day,” said Dr. Michael Ryan during a Tuesday press briefing. “Today we’re dealing with 200,000 a day.”

Ryan said that the number of COVID-19 deaths appeared to be stable for the moment, but he cautioned that there is often a lag time between when confirmed cases increase and when deaths are reported due to the time it takes for the coronavirus to run its course in patients.

Ryan also dismissed the idea that the significant jump in cases was due to more widespread testing and , said, “This epidemic is accelerating."

He says he hopes the collective knowledge gained about effectively treating COVID-19 patients helps keep the death rate relatively low, but that can't be guaranteed.

“We’ve only really experienced this rapid increase in cases over the last five to six weeks,” Ryan said. “So I don’t think it should be a surprise if the deaths start to rise again.”