By Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News
(GENEVA) — The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that 60% of all COVID-19 cases globally have been reported in the last month.
“For the past week, the number of new cases has exceeded 160,000 on every single day,” WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference in Geneva.
The recent increase in worldwide cases comes some six months since the first novel coronavirus cases were reported in China. As the pandemic spirals, the U.S. has become worst-affected nation, with more than 2.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 127,485 deaths.
So far, more than 10.3 million cases and more than 506,000 deaths have been reported to the WHO. Of those, 60% were over the past month, the director general said.
The update from the WHO comes as the U.S. is reporting around 45,000 new cases a day. Two countries once considered epicenters of the pandemic, Italy and Spain, were reporting around 10,000 and 6,500 new cases per day at their respective peaks.
“We will never get tired of saying that the best way out of this pandemic is to take a comprehensive approach,” Tedros said.
He added that new rises in cases are to be expected as nations start to ease restrictions, but he remained optimistic that one of the lessons so far from the pandemic is that no matter what situation a country is in “it’s never too late” to turn things around.
The WHO also said it’s working to verify the exact nature of U.S. contracts for purchasing COVID-19 drug candidate Remdesivir, amid reports the country is “hoarding” it.
“Obviously, there many people around the world who are very sick with this disease, and we want to make sure that everybody has access to the necessary lifesaving interventions,” WHO Emergencies Chief Dr. Mike Ryan said.
Ryan added that the WHO will continue to engage with technical counterparts in the U.S., saying, “We’re very grateful for their collaboration.”
ABC News’ Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.
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