Coronavirus deaths worldwide top 650,000, WHO urges action

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections worldwide saw a daily hike of 226,783 in the past 24 hours, staying above 200,000 for 13 consecutive days and bringing the total to 16,341,920, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday. The latest situation report released on Tuesday said the coronavirus death toll around the world increased by 4,153 to 650,805, with the Americas reporting more than half of the fatalities, in terms of the total and daily increase.

Countries around the world should implement strict health measures to suppress the virus transmission and save lives, including mass testing, strict quarantine, social distancing and wearing a mask, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a virtual news briefing on Monday.

“Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they’re not, cases go up,” he said, praising countries such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Thailand, China, Germany and South Korea.

The agency believes that countries have to contain the virus outbreak at home in order to lift travel bans.

“It is going to be almost impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program.

“Economies have to open up, people have to work, trade has to resume,” he said.

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