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461,504 Deaths and 8,734,972 Corona Virus Infections, Mostly in the US, Brazil, UK, Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico

June 19, 2020

A demonstrator speaks during a protest, in Simi Valley, California over the death of George Floyd, June 6, 2020  


As of June 19, 2020, 22:23 GMT,

World: 8,734,972 infection cases, and 461,504 deaths.


A list of countries with the highest Coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths:

1. USA 2,294,047 infection cases, and 121,376 deaths.

2. Brazil 1,032,913 infection cases, and 48,954 deaths.

3. UK 301,815 infection cases, and 42,461 deaths.

4. Italy 238,011 infection cases, and 34,561 deaths.

5. France 159,452 infection cases, and 29,617 deaths.

6. Spain 292,655 infection cases, and 28,315 deaths.

7. Mexico 165,455 infection cases, and 19,747 deaths.

8. India 395,812 infection cases, and 12,970 deaths.

9. Iran 200,262 infection cases, and 9,392 deaths.

10. Germany 190,660 infection cases, and 8,960 deaths.

11. Russia 569,063 infection cases, and 7,841 deaths.

12. Peru 247,925 infection cases, and 7,660 deaths.


WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 19 June 2020

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening.

The pandemic is accelerating.

More than 150 thousand new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO yesterday – the most in a single day so far.

Almost half of those cases were reported from the Americas, with large numbers also being reported from South Asia and the Middle East.

The world is in a new and dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies.

But the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.

We call on all countries and all people to exercise extreme vigilance.

Continue maintaining your distance from others. Stay home if you feel sick. Keep covering your nose and mouth when you cough. Wear a mask when appropriate. Keep cleaning your hands.

We continue to call on all countries to focus on the basics: find, isolate, test and care for every case. Trace and quarantine every contact.

As the pandemic gathers pace, it’s the most vulnerable who will suffer the most.

All countries rich and poor have populations who are vulnerable to a higher risk of severe disease and death.

Tomorrow is World Refugee Day – an important moment to highlight the risks of COVID-19 for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Refugees are particularly at risk of COVID-19 because they often have limited access to adequate shelter, water, nutrition, sanitation, and health services.

Over 80 per cent of the world’s refugees and nearly all the world’s internally displaced people are hosted in low- and middle-income countries.

WHO is deeply concerned about the very real and present danger of widespread transmission of COVID-19 in refugee camps.

Beyond the health threat posed by the virus, COVID-19 is also exposing many refugees to even more severe hardship.

A report published today by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement shows that about 70 percent of refugees surveyed in Turkey reported having lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic.

We have a shared duty to do everything we can to prevent, detect and respond to transmission of COVID-19 among refugee populations.

Public health measures that reduce transmission of COVID-19 require strict and sustained implementation. This is difficult to achieve in refugee camps, where the public health situation is weak. 
It’s an honour to be here today with my brother Mr Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

WHO’s mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.

Our organizations are a natural fit and every day WHO and UNHCR work to strengthen the collaboration between our two agencies. 
Last month, our two organizations signed a new agreement to strengthen and advance public health services for the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

COVID-19 has demonstrated that no one is safe until we’re all safe. Only by putting politics aside and working in true collaboration can we make a difference.

We are most vulnerable when we are divided, but with solidarity and cooperation, we will overcome this pandemic, and be better prepared for the crises of the future.


WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 17 June 2020
17 June 2020


Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

The world has now recorded more than 8 million cases of COVID-19.

In the first two months, 85,000 cases were reported.

But in the past two months 6 million cases have been reported.

There have been more than 435,000 deaths and in the Americas, Africa and South Asia; cases are still rapidly rising.

However, there are green shoots of hope, which show that together through global solidarity, humanity can overcome this pandemic.  

We now have good examples of many countries that have shown how to effectively suppress the virus with a combination of testing, tracing, and quarantining patients and caring for those that get sick.

Lab capacity has been dramatically enhanced across the world to boost COVID-19 testing, which is critical for identifying where the virus is and informing government actions.

New mega hubs have been established that are now key to the distribution of personal protective equipment, which includes millions of masks, goggles, aprons and gloves; as well as other medical supplies.

Tech companies have developed applications that can assist with the critical task of contact tracing.

And there has been an enormous effort to accelerate the science around the pandemic.

Early on in the outbreak; on 11 February, WHO convened a Research and Innovation Forum on COVID-19, where hundreds of researchers came together from across the world with the aim of quickly developing quality diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

One of the key priorities identified was for the world to focus on accelerating research around treating patients with COVID-19.

Specifically, researchers agreed to investigate existing drugs with potential, including steroids.

WHO also developed a core protocol, which has been adapted and used by researchers around the world.

And yesterday, there was the welcome news of positive initial results from the RECOVERY trial in the United Kingdom.

Dexamethasone, a common steroid, has been shown to have a beneficial effect on those patients severely ill with COVID-19.

According to the early findings shared with WHO, for patients on oxygen alone the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one fifth.  

And for patients requiring a ventilator, mortality was reduced by about one third.

However, dexamethasone was shown to not have a beneficial effect for those with milder disease, who did not need respiratory support.

This is very welcome news for those patients with severe illness, these drugs should only be used under close clinical supervision.

We need more therapeutics that can be used to tackle the virus, including those with milder symptoms.

WHO has now started to coordinate a meta-analysis pooling data from several clinical trials to increase our overall understanding of this intervention.

And, we will update our clinical guidance to reflect how and when dexamethasone should be used to treat COVID-19.

I want to thank the United Kingdom government, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals, researchers, patients and families who have contributed to this scientific breakthrough.

WHO will continue to work with all partners to develop other therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19, including through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we hope there will be more treatments that improve patient outcomes and save lives.

While we are searching for COVID-19 treatments we must continue strong efforts to prevent as many infections as possible by finding, isolating, testing and caring for every case; and tracing and quarantining every contact.


COVID-19 is affecting the whole world but it’s important to remember that for the most vulnerable communities, this is just one of many threats they face.

We have consistently stressed the importance of ensuring essential health services continue, including routine vaccination and services for malaria, TB and HIV.

Today, I want to touch on Neglected Tropical Diseases, an issue I care deeply about.

NTDs are a group of 20 diseases including elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, leprosy, trachoma and intestinal worms that collectively wreak havoc on the poorest and most marginalized communities.

These diseases disfigure, disable and can kill, and they strike hardest in places of poverty and in remote areas where access to quality health services is extremely limited. 

WHO and partners have developed a new roadmap, which moves away from single disease programmes to integrated approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neglected tropical diseases, as part of an overall movement toward universal health coverage.

The NTD roadmap puts greater ownership on national and local governments to drive action.   

Like with COVID-19, it calls for greater collaboration between governments, academia, civil society and the private sector in order to boost innovation and access to health technologies.

I have seen first hand the courage of people who are living with NTDS, which is why I call on countries not to forget about the most vulnerable.


Together, we can achieve anything and I am encouraged by progress in tackling the Ebola outbreak in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If there are no more cases in the next seven days, the Government of DRC will be able to declare the outbreak over. 

The lessons learned and experience gained by Congolese health workers are now being applied to inform the Ebola outbreak response in the West of the DRC, as well as broader lessons on testing and contact tracing, which are directly transferable for tackling COVID-19.

I thank you.


Protest crowds a challenge for tracking virus infections

By JOHN ANTCZAK and AMY TAXIN, Associated Press  

June 19, 2020


California health officials so far report only a few people who attended protests against police brutality have tested positive for the coronavirus but already they are seeing the futility in trying to track down all in the crowds who could have been infected by them.

California was the first state to impose a stay-at-home order and in recent weeks has accelerated the pace of reopening the economy and loosening restrictions on where people can go. The state's rollback plans were laid with the idea there wouldn't yet be large crowds but after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd thousands of protesters have filled the streets in major cities and dozens of smaller locations had crowds above 100.  

Many demonstrators didn’t practice physical distancing or wear masks — twin pillars of the fight to limit spread of the virus. On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom started requiring face coverings in most indoor settings and outdoors when distancing from others isn’t possible.

“The risk is broad, but low” at protests, said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. “It all depends on what proportion of people wear masks.” 

California has been moving forward on a four-phase plan to reopen its economy and allow greater freedom of movement for its 40 million residents. To open more businesses, counties must show they have sufficient testing capacity and enough “contact tracers" to interview those infected about who they may have exposed.

Ideally, the infected person can provide names and contact information for people who had been around them but that's not possible when the person has been surrounded by strangers at a protest.

Some county health officials have urged anyone who attended protests get tested for the coronavirus. Los Angeles County, where some demonstrators have tested positive for the virus, has urged those who attended protests and were around people without masks for as little as 15 minutes consider self-quarantining for 14 days. 

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said there are more than 1,000 contact tracers in the county of 10 million people who make thousands of calls daily to try to reach those exposed to the virus. But she said that isn't possible for virus cases among protesters. 

“The contact tracing will get extraordinarily hard in those crowded situations,” she said.

Large demonstrations began May 29 and while they tapered after a week or so in most locations they continue to attract crowds in cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco. It takes up to two weeks for symptoms to appear, and longer for people to seek testing and get results, so any surge from the early days of the protests could materialize over the next week.

Contact tracing, which has long been used to stem other communicable diseases, is seen as critical to halting COVID-19. But patients don’t always remember everyone they’ve seen over the course of such a long incubation period and some may be reluctant to share information with the government knowing those people will be asked to quarantine. 

Orange and Sacramento counties are among those that have reported virus cases among demonstrators, but so far no indications of an outbreak, health officials said.

In Sacramento County, three people tested positive and one refused to share details about the protest with those tasked with tracing the infections. The other two attended so many events officials felt issuing specific warnings would be futile and just urged all demonstrators to consider getting tested, said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, the county's public health officer.

“Right now we don’t have enough detail to be more specific,” Kasirye said, adding the contact tracers continue to follow up with those who were infected.

Dr. Matthew Zahn, medical director of the Orange County health care agency’s communicable disease control division, said the county's contact tracers reach those infected about 85 percent of the time. In smaller outbreaks of other illnesses, contact tracers might go to a person's house to follow up, but that's not possible in a pandemic with hundreds of new cases each day, he said.

“Contact tracing is an exceedingly important part of the public health response, but to perceive of it as a silver bullet I think is a misunderstanding,” Zahn said.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s health officer, said he doesn’t know of cases in his county tied to protests. But that doesn't mean they haven't occurred.

“Out in the community, all bets are off,” he said.


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