WHO says 1 in 10 people may have contracted coronavirus - GulfToday

WHO says 1 in 10 people may have contracted coronavirus


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.

CoronavirusPicture 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

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