The world recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases in a day Thursday with the United States still having the worst outbreak in the world.
These alarming revelations were made Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO), which said the pandemic has entered a "new and dangerous phase" with global cases soaring to 150,000. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed the number of new cases Thursday "were the most in a single day so far."
Dr. Tedros also said about half of the total cases were reported from the Americas. Southern Asia and the Middle East also accounted for a large share of this horrific total.
"Many people are understandably fed up with being at home," said Dr. Tedros. He also said countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies.
He pointed out the U.S. still has the worst outbreak in the world. Data from the Johns Hopkins University show the disease has infected 2.1 million Americans, and killed at least 118,435 as of Thursday. It also shows the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases jumped more than 15% compared to last week. The U.S. is reporting more than 20,000 new cases a day, the world's highest total.
More alarmingly, Dr. Tedros said the pandemic is accelerating as can be seen by the record-setting spike to 150,000 cases. He said the disease is still spreading fast. It's still deadly and most people are still susceptible.
As of Friday, the world had to conted with 8.75 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as more than 461,000 deaths, according to data from Worldometer. This source, however, said the new case count as of Thursday stood at more than 181,000 compared to the 150,000 announced by WHO.
Dr. Tedros said world leaders and the public need to exercise extreme vigilance against the disease. He strongly urges them to focus on the basics of prevention.
The basics include maintaining distance from other persons; staying at home if a person feels sick; wearing a mask when appropriate and washing your hands. A person must also remember to cover his nose and mouth when he coughs.
WHO has been relentlessly warning world leaders there can be "no going back to business as usual" following the pandemic. The economic damage and personal pain wrought by the disease on most countries of the world is incalculable.
WHO again reminds countries they will need to manage around the coronavirus for the near future due to the uneven nature of the disease's spread. Some countries have reopened their economies but most countries still labor under safe distancing and lockdown rules that impede economic growth.
Dr. Tedros is confident the world will overcome the pandemic and be better prepared for a future crisis. WHO is concerned about cases in low- and middle-income countries, he noted. He also said COVID-19 has demonstrated no one is safe until we are all safe.