The confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded 100,000 worldwide, as the United Nations’ global health agency – the World Health Organization – warned governments against rolling back measures introduced to curb the spread of the pandemic. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday the agency would like to see an easing, but cautioned that “lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence”.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tedros said there had been a “welcome slowing” of epidemics in some European countries – Italy, Germany, Spain and France – but there had been an “alarming acceleration” elsewhere, including community transmission in 16 countries of Africa.
His comments came shortly before a tally by the Johns Hopkins University showed that the number of confirmed deaths associated with COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, stood at 100,376.
Some health experts fear the actual toll is higher given the challenges of confirming the cause of death, especially outside of hospitals,as well as limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and possible cover-ups by some governments.