The second-ranking official in the World Health Organization said Monday an upward trend in COVID-19 cases points to the world reaching 100,000 deaths a week soon as he spelled out the grim toll the virus has inflicted.
WHO's head of emergency services, Dr. Mike Ryan, reported the impact of the novel coronavirus on the 148th session of the global health body's Executive Board taking place from Jan. 18-26 in Geneva and virtually.
"An overall upward trend seen in earlier weeks has resumed with just under 5 million cases reported last week globally.
"The number of new deaths has also shown a similar trend with over 93,000 deaths reported last week. We are likely to reach 100,000 deaths reported per week very soon," said Ryan.
He noted the world has exceeded 2 million deaths overall with more than 93 million cases.
"In the last week, 87% of all COVID cases and 87% of all virus deaths have occurred in the Americas and Europe, with the other four regions representing 13% of all cases and deaths," said Ryan.
The WHO official said that the number of cases continues to grow in the Americas, the western Pacific, and Africa over the last few weeks.
While overall numbers have stabilized or are declining in Europe, the numbers of cases and deaths in the region remain high.
In the Americas, the world is now approaching 1 million deaths, with this region accounting for 53% of virus cases and 47% of deaths globally in the last week.
"There is a male preponderance in deaths despite a higher proportion of the older population being female," said Ryan.
Globally 75% of all cases reported were between the ages of 15 to 64, but 83.4% of deaths were in the over 65s.
"However, it is important to note that 16% of all deaths were amongst those 25 to 64 years old."