Official WHO figures suggest there have been 32,110,656 confirmed cases of the disease so far – with 980,031 fatalities at of 4.14pm GMT yesterday. The WHO’s dashboard reveals a total death toll of 6,316 yesterday, which if replicated over the next four days, would take the overall figure past a million by Wednesday. Asked during yesterday’s WHO briefing whether the eventual number could be double that, even with a successful vaccine, Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies head said: “It’s not impossible.”
The US, Brazil and India have the highest numbers of cases, with more than 15 million between them.
However, with new restrictions in place in the UK in the face of a worrying spike, Dr Ryan warned there had been a large resurgence of cases in Europe.
He said: “Overall within that very large region, we are seeing worrying increases of the disease.”
He also asked Europeans to ask themselves if they had done enough to avoid the implementation of a full lockdown, as well as questioning whether alternatives, ranging from testing and tracing, social distancing and quarantine, had been implemented effectively.
He added: “Lockdowns are almost a last resort – and to think that we’re back in last-resort territory in September, that’s a pretty sobering thought.”
With reference to the two million figure, he said: “Are we prepared to do what it takes to avoid that number?
“Unless we do it all, the number you speak about is not only imaginable, but unfortunately and sadly, very likely.”
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PLANS allow people to see their families over Christmas amid the coronavirus pandemic are being outlined according to reports.
Ministers are willing to do “whatever it takes” to enable people to enjoy the festivities with their loved ones according to The Telegraph.
Various sources said up to three million people could be tested per day under the potential plans which would enable families to gather.
To allow such plans to take place, ministers are also pushing for the introduction of coronavirus vaccines from the beginning of December.
Mr Johnson famously predicted Christmas would be “as close to normal as possible” in the summer.
Any attempt to pursue a policy of herd immunity to combat coronavirus could result in huge numbers of extra deaths, while there is no reason to think Sweden’s strategy will work in the UK, Boris Johnson has been warned.
Independent SAGE, a group of scientists who provide scientific advice about coronavirus, has warned Britain is in a “dangerous place” with infection rates doubling every week and hospital admissions rising.
A report published on Friday in advance of Independent SAGE’s briefing argues any attempt to pursue herd immunity in the UK is doomed to failure, while a separate analysis cautions against trying to replicate Sweden’s controversial methods in the UK.
Herd immunity is believed to have been considered early on in the pandemic, with the Government’s Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance having used the phrase.