This is the number of deaths in the nine months since the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, nearly a million.
Dr Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergency program director, said the figure could be higher without concerted action to stem the pandemic.
“It’s certainly unimaginable,” he said at a briefing. “But it’s not impossible, because if we envision losing a million people in nine months, and then just look at the realities of getting a vaccine to market in the next nine months, that’s an important task for us. everyone involved.
“There is the issue of funding for these vaccines. There is the issue of the distribution of these vaccines and then the acceptance issues.
“And beyond that, with the work we still need to do to control this disease. And remember, we have things we can do now to reduce transmission and reduce the number of deaths. ”
Dr Ryan said there was a “disturbing” spike in COVID-19[feminine[feminine infections across Europe, which have triggered local lockdowns.
These are in part due to improved and rigorous testing, he added.
“But what concerns us is an increase in hospitalizations and an increase in the occupancy rate of beds for hospitalizations and also in ICUs. It’s the end of September, not even the end of September, and we haven’t even started our flu season yet, ”he said.
“So what worries us is the possibility that these trends are going in the wrong direction. Now, on the other hand, we are in a very different situation than we were a few months ago. We have the tools in place to be able to reduce transmission and save lives. ”
Infections have risen to nearly 32.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked the coronavirus outbreak.
Many countries experience a second surge as winter approaches.
It is not known what impact the cold months will have on the disease and how it will interact with other seasonal respiratory viruses.