GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization is seeing intense transmission of the coronavirus in relatively few countries, its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Thursday.
“We continue to see intense transmission in a relatively small group of countries,” he told a virtual briefing in Geneva. “Two-thirds of all cases are from 10 countries. Almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries.”
U.S. coronavirus cases exceeded 4 million on Thursday, with over 2,600 new cases every hour on average, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections in the United States have rapidly accelerated since the first case was detected on Jan. 21. It took the country 98 days to reach 1 million cases. It took another 43 days to reach 2 million and then 27 days to reach 3 million.
It has only taken 16 days to reach 4 million at a rate of 43 new cases a minute.
Tedros also said that just because cases may be at a low level where someone lives, it doesn’t mean they should let down their guard.
“Know your situation – do you know how many cases were reported where you live yesterday? Do you know how to find that information? Do you know how to minimise your exposure?”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Additional reporting by Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes-Neghaiwi in Zurich and Lisa Shumaker in Washington; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)