‘Pandemic accelerating at a faster rate worldwide’

Actual number of infections and deaths could be much higher, says Soumya Swaminathan

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating at a faster rate now than in the previous months, said Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization.

Addressing the virtual conference ‘SICCI 360’, organised by the South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, she said the world was seeing a million more cases roughly every three days.

She said the actual number of infections could be about ten times or even twenty times higher than the diagnosed and reported number of around 39 million cases across the world.

Highlighting the importance of having proper death reporting systems, she said the death toll due to COVID-19 and the excess deaths happening during the pandemic could be higher as many countries lacked proper mechanisms.

She said India lacked a good death reporting system and only around 20% of the deaths were reported and recorded with proper medical causes.

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