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World Health Organization warns of case number surge

While here in Australia many things are getting back to normal with our case numbers almost non-existent, that isn’t the case for much of the rest of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that COVID-19 cases are surging globally. It is urging people to respect measures proven to keep the virus in check.

The WHO says that while cases and deaths went down at the beginning of the year, cases have been rising for the last seven weeks. In the week of 5–7 April, more than 4.4 million new cases were reported. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, said that “If you compare that to a year ago, we had about 500,000 cases being reported a week.”

"We are in a critical point of the pandemic right now," she said. "The trajectory of this pandemic is growing. It is growing exponentially."

The latest surge is happening despite COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in many countries, with more than 780 million doses given so far.

While vaccines were an important weapon in the battle to halt the pandemic, the WHO stressed they were not the only tool. It stressed that other key practises work too, like:

  • physical distancing
  • masks
  • hand hygiene
  • testing
  • contact tracing
  • quarantine.

Numbers internationally

The countries with the highest number of new cases a day are (as of 20 April):

  • India with 273,802 new cases daily
  • Turkey with 55,802 new cases daily
  • Brazil with 42,980 new cases daily
  • USA with 40,482 new cases daily.

You can find more statistics and global COVID-19 data on sites like Google News.

You can read more about the WHO’s concerns in an article on ABC News.

20 April 2021
Applies to all states