More than 100,000 coronavirus cases have been reported to the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours, “the most in a single day since the outbreak began,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference Wednesday.
“We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” he said. “In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO — the most in a single day since the outbreak began.”
He added that almost “two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries,” although he did not specify where the cases had been recorded.
The countries with the highest number of confirmed cases are the U.S., Russia, Brazil and the United Kingdom, according to the WHO.
“We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries,” Ghebreyesus said.
“The pandemic has taught and informed many lessons,” he added. “Health is not a cost; it’s an investment. To live in a secure world, guaranteeing quality health for all is not just the right choice; it’s the smart choice.”
Ghebreyesus’ colleague, Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies program, said that the “tragic milestone of 5 million cases,” will soon be hit.
He added that people should avoid using the malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine, except for conditions it is proven to treat. President Donald Trump said that he was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection on Monday.
Ghebreyesus also acknowledged that he had received a letter from Trump who threatened to withdraw from the WHO and permanently withhold funding earlier this week. Trump has accused the organization of mishandling the outbreak and favoring China.
Ghebreyesus declined to comment further on the letter, but said they were “looking into it.”
The WHO has announced a review into the response to the pandemic, which emerged in China late last year.
“I said it time and time again that WHO calls for accountability more than anyone,” Ghebreyesus said. “It has to be done and when it’s done it has to be a comprehensive one,” he said of the review, while declining to give a timeline for it starting.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released more reopening guidance with advice for childcare facilities, schools, day camps, mass transit systems, restaurants, bars and other businesses and organizations that have workers at high risk of becoming sick from the coronavirus.
The guidance discusses different steps organizations can take as they reopen from closures aimed at stopping the virus’ spread.