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Before vaccine comes, global death toll may hit 2mn: WHO

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Health Desk-26 Sep 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the global coronavirus death toll could hit two million before an effective vaccine is widely used.

WHO's emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan said the figure could be higher without concerted international action.

Almost one million people have died with Covid-19 worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year.

Virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally.

The start of a second surge of coronavirus infections has been seen in many countries in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches.

So far, the US, India and Brazil have confirmed the most cases, recording more than 15 million between them. But in recent days, there has been a resurgence of infections across Europe, prompting warnings of national lockdowns similar to those imposed at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

Dr Ryan said, ‘Overall within that very large region, we are seeing worrying increases of the disease,"

He urged Europeans to ask themselves whether they had done enough to avoid the need for lockdowns - and whether alternatives, such as testing and tracing, quarantines and social distancing, had been implemented.