Covid-19: Two million deaths ‘very likely’ – WHO expert

By BBC News

The deaths of two million people with Covid-19 is “very likely” unless the world takes comprehensive action to curb the spread of the disease, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) expert has warned.

Dr Mike Ryan was asked on Friday whether two million fatalities worldwide was possible before a vaccine against the disease became available.

“It’s certainly unimaginable, but it’s not impossible,” Dr Ryan told a media briefing at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.

Almost one million people have died with coronavirus worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year.

Dr Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies team, said fatality rates were dropping as treatments for the disease improve.

But he said better treatments and even an effective vaccine would not be enough on their own to prevent further deaths.

“Are we prepared to do what it takes to avoid that number?,” Dr Ryan said, calling on governments to do everything within their power to control Covid-19.

“Unless we do it all, the number you speak about is not only imaginable but unfortunately and sadly, very likely.”