10% of the world may have been infected by Covid-19, WHO official says
“Our current best estimates tell us that about 10% of the global population may have been infected by this virus,” Dr. Mike Ryan, director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said at a WHO executive board meeting Monday.
“This varies depending on country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies between different groups. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk,” Ryan added.
With a global population of about 7.7 billion people, Ryan’s estimate would mean about 770 million have been infected — but most have not been diagnosed or counted.
Ryan noted Monday that Southeast Asia continues to see a surge in cases, while Europe and Eastern Mediterranean regions were seeing an increase in cases and deaths. However, he noted that the situation in Africa and the Western Pacific was “currently rather more positive.”
Worldwide, countries are struggling to contain resurgent outbreaks and are reintroducing measures in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
“We are now heading into a difficult period. The disease continues to spread,” Ryan said.
WHO warns of virus “fatigue”
The WHO’s Europe director Hans Kluge warned Tuesday of “fatigue” surrounding the virus, noting that survey data from the region showed that apathy has reached high levels in some nations.
Kluge said that “these levels of fatigue are to be expected” during such a protracted public health emergency, where citizens have made “huge sacrifices.”
“Although we are all weary, I believe it is possible to reinvigorate and revive efforts to tackle the evolving Covid-19 challenges that we face,” he said.