- WHO officials warned Friday against downplaying the total number of infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus as it overwhelms health systems around the world.
- Last week, the WHO declared that Europe had become the new epicenter of the outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China in December.
World Health Organization officials warned Friday against dismissing the coronavirusÂ that’s swept across the globe as just a bad outbreak of the flu, saying it has overwhelmed health systems around the world in just a few weeks.
“Take one look at what’s happening in some health systems around the world. Look at the intensive care units completely overwhelmed. Doctors and nurses utterly exhausted,”Â Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program, said at a press briefing from the organization’s Geneva headquarters. “This is not normal. This isn’t just a bad flu season.”
The virus has now infected more thanÂ 254,000 people and killed at leastÂ 10,444 people across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.Â
Last week, the WHO declared that Europe had become the new epicenter of the outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China in December. On Thursday, the number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Italy surpassed that of China.
“These are health systems that are collapsing under the pressure of too many cases,” Ryan said Friday.
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