Wednesday 20 May 2020 8:53 pm

Global coronavirus cases rise by largest ever daily amount

The number of new coronavirus cases reported worldwide rose by the largest ever daily amount over the last 24 hours, according to new figures from the World Health Organization (WHO).

A total of 106,000 new cases were reported — the highest since the pandemic began. Roughly two-thirds of these came from just four countries.

Read more: UK coronavirus death toll up 363 to 35,704

“We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. “We are very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries.”

Rise means the global tally will soon reach the “tragic milestone” of 5m cases, the health authority said.

The highest number of new cases came from the US, which reported more than 45,000 new infections yesterday.

Europe was the second biggest coronavirus hotspot, with Russia reporting just over 9,000 new cases.

The WHO has come under fire from US President Donald Trump, who has accused it of mishandling the crisis and favouring China. 

Trump ramped up his attack on the health body this week, threatening to withdraw from the WHO and permanently withhold funding.

WHO boss Tedros declined to comment on Trump’s threat, but said he was committed to accountability and would carry out a review into the response to the pandemic. 

“I said it time and time again that WHO calls for accountability more than anyone. It has to be done and when it’s done it has to be a comprehensive one,” he said.

Read more: Donald Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine as anti-coronavirus measure

In a further blow to the US President, Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme urged people not to use hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus.

Trump has previously said that he is taking the malaria medication, despite no evidence it is an effective treatment and warnings about potentially severe side effects.

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