Global COVID-19 total quickly tops 9 million

June 23, 2020

Fueled by surges in countries with large populations, the global COVID-19 total jumped to 9 million cases as the world registered its highest one-day total of 183,000 cases. It only took 6 days for the pandemic total to rise from 8 million to 9 million cases, two days less than it took for the number to rise from 7 million to 8 million. The total now stands at almost 9,100,000, and nearly 470,000 people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.

At a World Health Organization (WHO) media briefing, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said while some countries are seeing a rapid rise in cases and deaths, others that successfully suppressed transmission are seeing an upswing in cases as they reopen their economies and unwind restrictions.

Tedros urged countries to get creative with keeping people safe as they get on with their lives, but with a foundation of the public health measures that work, including finding and testing cases, isolating and caring for people who are sick, tracing contacts, and protecting healthcare workers. He also called on individuals to do their part by maintaining physical distance, washing their hands, and wearing masks where appropriate.

With no let-up in pandemic activity, Tedros said the WHO has fielded requests from 48 countries for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies worth $92 million, and is in the process of shipping 140 million pieces of PPE to 135 countries, along with 14,000 oxygen concentrators and millions of tests.

He also said the WHO is helping countries maintain essential health services. In a recent survey to gauge the pandemic's impact on regular medical care, about half of the 82 countries that responded so far have limited or suspended at last one service platform, such as community, outpatient, or inpatient care. Dental care and rehabilitation services were most likely to be disrupted, with about three-fourths of countries reporting temporary suspensions.

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