Health and Science

WHO says U.S. and Brazil accounted for half of new daily coronavirus cases: 'Too many countries are headed in the wrong direction'

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Key Points
  • The United States and Brazil accounted for half of the new daily coronavirus cases as countries across the globe struggle to contain their outbreaks, the World Health Organization said Monday.
  • The U.S. and Brazil reported 111,319 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, roughly half of all the new cases reported worldwide, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
  • "Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction," he added. 
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WHO: U.S. and Brazil accounted for half of new daily coronavirus cases

The United States and Brazil accounted for half of the new daily coronavirus cases as countries across the globe struggle to contain their outbreaks, the World Health Organization said Monday.

The U.S. and Brazil reported 111,319 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, roughly half of all the new cases disclosed to health authorities worldwide, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction," Tedros said at a news conference from the agency's Geneva headquarters.

"In several countries across the world, we are now seeing dangerous increases in Covid-19 cases, and hospital wards filling up again," he added. "It would appear that many countries are losing gains made as proven measures to reduce risk are not implemented or followed."

In the U.S., Covid-19 cases continued to hit record levels over the weekend with Florida reporting on Sunday more than 15,000 new cases, shattering the daily record reported by any single state. Florida now has more cases than several major nations with much larger populations such as Spain, Italy and France.

Overall, the U.S. has reported more than 3.3 million Covid-19 cases and at least 135,205 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As of Sunday, cases are growing by 5% or more in 37 states and also Washington, D.C., according to CNBC's analysis of the data. The seven-day average of U.S. cases is more than 59,100.

As U.S. coronavirus cases continue to rise, public health experts and infectious disease specialists say a strong, coordinated message on the virus from President Donald Trump and the White House is more important than ever.

Last week, the WHO warned world leaders that the pandemic "is not under control" and is getting worse.

"The pandemic is still accelerating," Tedros said Thursday. "The total number of cases has doubled in the last six weeks."

Tedros on Monday criticized some countries' responses to the virus, saying their actions haven't matched the seriousness of the pandemic. 

"The only aim of the virus is to find people to infect. Mixed messages from leaders are undermining the most critical ingredient of any response: Trust," he said. The virus "is going to get worse and worse and worse but it doesn't have to be this way." 

Tedros emphasized that there will be no return to "normal" for the "foreseeable future." However, he said countries can control the virus and people can "get on with our lives" by suppressing transmission and practicing social distancing. 

The public also needs "strong government leadership and coordination of comprehensive strategies that are communicated clearly and consistently," he said. "It can be done. It must be done." 

Tedros said world leaders need to "deliver clear public health messages."

"We weren't prepared collectively, but we must use all the tools we have to bring this pandemic under control. And we need to do it right now," he said.