COVID-19 death rate to be 10 times higher than influenza: WHO chief

GENEVA: The death rate of COVID-19 is estimated to be 10 times higher than influenza, World Health Organization (WHO), said the Director-General.

In a Mission briefing on COVID-19 from Geneva on Thursday, the WHO chief said so far, more than 1.3 million people have been infected and nearly 80,000 have lost their lives, the Xinhua news agency reported.

This is much more than a health crisis. It requires a response from the entire government and from all of society, he said.

He added that the world has not yet seen the devastation it could cause in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Without help and action now, poor countries and vulnerable communities could suffer massive devastation.

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The window to contain the virus at the sub-national and national levels is closing in many countries. Infection figures in Africa are relatively small now, but they are growing rapidly, he warned.

As I said yesterday at the press conference, we must quarantine the politicization of this virus nationally and globally. We have to work together and we have no time to waste, he added.