Image only for representation
The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization says its "best estimates” indicate that roughly one in 10 people worldwide may have been infected by the coronavirus.
Dr. Michael Ryan, speaking Monday to a meeting of the WHO’s 34-member executive board focusing on COVID-19, said the figures vary from urban to rural, and between different groups, but that ultimately it means "the vast majority of the world remains at risk.”
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The estimate — which would amount to more than 760 million people based on current world population of about 7.6 billion — far outstrips the number of confirmed cases as tallied by both WHO and Johns Hopkins University, now more than 35 million worldwide.
Picture shown is for illustrative purposes only.
Experts have long said that the number of confirmed cases greatly underestimates the true figure.
The UN health agency says a new survey shows the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted or stopped critical mental health services in more than nine in 10 countries worldwide, even as need for them is rising.
The World Health Organization says its survey, conducted between June and August in 130 countries, is the first to detail the "devastating impact” of COVID-19 on access to mental health services.
More than two-thirds of countries reported disruptions to counselling and psychotherapy, and over one-third cited disruptions to emergency interventions.
"Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia and anxiety,” a WHO statement said. "Meanwhile, COVID-19 itself can lead to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, agitation and stroke.”
The survey comes ahead of a WHO-backed advocacy event on Saturday for World Mental Health Day.Associated Press
The WHO maintained its recommendation that people who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and if it is absolutely necessary for them or their contacts to leave home, they should wear a medical mask.
Six months after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 680,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million, according to an AFP tally.
“We are seeing a roughly similar pattern everywhere — I suspect we have more immunity than estimated,” Professor Karol Sikora, who previously directed the WHO’s cancer programme, said.
WHO's regional director for Europe Hans Kluge did not identify the countries by name, nor provide detailed numbers. Germany, which began easing measures about seven weeks ago, is however one such country that has suffered a major setback.
Kyiv’s Western allies have shown no interest in the plan: Russia; Zelensky will join an upcoming G7 summit in Japan via an online link following an invitation from Kishida, who visited Ukraine.
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