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WHO reports record daily increase in coronavirus cases

WHO reports record daily increase in coronavirus cases
June 22, 2020
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 183,020 in a 24-hour period. The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to a daily report. Total global cases are over 8.7 million with more than 461,000 deaths, according to the WHO. The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on June 18. Earlier, the WHO hopes hundreds of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine can be produced this year and 2 billion doses by the end of 2021, chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said. The WHO is drawing up plans to help decide who should get the first doses once a vaccine is approved, she said. Priority would be given to frontline workers such as medics, those who are vulnerable because of age or other illness, and those who work or live in high-transmission settings such as prisons and care homes. “I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic. But vaccine development is a complex undertaking, it comes with a lot of uncertainty,” she said. “The good thing is, we have many vaccines and platforms so even if the first one fails, or the second ones fails, we shouldn’t lose hope, we shouldn’t give up.” Around 10 potential vaccines are now undergoing trials in humans, in the hope that a shot to prevent infection can become available in coming months. Countries have already begun making deals with pharmaceutical companies to order doses, even before any vaccines have been proven to work. Swaminathan described the ambition for hundreds of millions of doses this year as optimistic, and the hope for up to 2 billion doses of up to three different vaccines next year as a “big if”.