The World Health Organisation (WHO) says confirmed cases of COVID-19 pandemic will soon reach one million globally.
The Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, disclosed the figures on Wednesday during his COVID-19 update.
“Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new COVID-19 cases, reaching almost every country, territory and area.
“The number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week.
“In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 50,000 deaths,” he said.
According to him, while relatively lower numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported from Africa, Central and South America, WHO realises that COVID-19 could have serious social, economic and political consequences for these regions.
“It is critical that we ensure these countries are well equipped to detect, test, isolate and treat COVID-19 cases, and identify contacts.
“I am encouraged to see that this is occurring in many countries, in spite of limited resources.
“Many countries are asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement, which can help to limit transmission of the Coronavirus.
“But it can have unintended consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable people,” he said.
Ghebreyesus said he had called on governments to put in place social welfare measures to ensure vulnerable people have food and other life essentials during this crisis.