Covid-19 global death toll can reach 20 lakh: WHO

Published:Saturday, 26 Sep 2020 09:09

Covid-19 global death toll can reach 20 lakh: WHO

The global death toll from COVID-19 could more than double to 20 lakh (two million) before a successful vaccine is widely used and could be even higher without concerted action to curb the pandemic.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official said this on Friday.

“Unless we do it all, [2 million deaths] … is not only imaginable, but sadly very likely,” Mike Ryan, head of the UN agency’s emergencies program, told a briefing.

“We are not out of the woods anywhere, we are not out of the woods in Africa,” Dr Ryan said.

He said young people should not be blamed for a recent increase in infections despite growing concerns that they are driving its spread after restrictions and lockdowns were eased around the world.

“I really hope we don’t get into finger wagging: it’s all because of the youth,” Dr Ryan said.

The number of deaths about nine months since the novel coronavirus was discovered in China is nearing 1 million.