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WHO fears spike in deaths after global Covid-19 surge

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Health Desk- Oct 15, 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned against any complacency in the coronavirus death rate, saying with the increasing number of cases, mortality would also rise.

New cases are hitting 100,000 daily in Europe. Nearly 20,000 infections were reported in Britain, while Italy, Switzerland and Russia were among nations with record case numbers.

While deaths globally have fallen to around 5,000 per day from April's peak exceeding 7,500, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said caseloads were rising in intensive care units.

"Mortality increases always lag behind increasing cases by a couple of weeks," Swaminathan said during a WHO social media event. "We shouldn't be complacent that death rates are coming down."

More than 38 million people have been reported infected globally and 1.1 million have died.

Despite the global push for a Covid-19 vaccine, with dozens in clinical trials and hopes for initial inoculations this year, Swaminathan reiterated that speedy, mass shots were unlikely.