The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned that a spike in global deaths could be expected given the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases over the last week. 

It shouldn’t “be a surprise” if the global death toll from the coronavirus begins to pick up pace again as the pandemic shows signs of accelerating across the globe, World Health Organization officials said.

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said at a news conference, for the month of June, reported Covid-19 cases around the world have accelerated while the death toll has been falling. The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom said:

While the number of deaths appears to have levelled off globally, in reality some countries have made significant progress in reducing the number of deaths, while in other countries deaths are still on the rise. 

In some countries, the increase in deaths from the coronavirus could be related to outbreaks in places with vulnerable populations that tend to suffer higher mortality rates, such as nursing homes. Other countries will also have to revise their death counts moving forward as more deaths are later attributed to Covid-19.

Noting the increase in the number of confirmed cases being reported in the past five or six weeks, he warned that a spike in deaths could be soon to follow. 

While in April and May, we were dealing with 100,000 cases a day, today we’re dealing with 200,000 a day. The pandemic has shown signs of accelerating as thousands of additional cases are reported each day.

Ryan also dismissed the idea that the significant jump in cases was due to more widespread testing and, said, “This epidemic is accelerating.”  

He says he hopes the collective knowledge gained about effectively treating COVID-19 patients helps keep the death rate relatively low, but that can’t be guaranteed. He says:

We’ve only really experienced this rapid increase in cases over the last five to six weeks. So I don’t think it should be a surprise if the deaths start to rise again.