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WHO fears spike in global COVID-19 cases will be followed by increased deaths

ZURICH/GENEVA, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist on Wednesday raised concern that the recent global increase in new COVID-19 infections will be followed by rising deaths that currently number around 5,000 every day.

Cases are surging, with nearly 20,000 infections reported in Britain and Italy, Switzerland and Russia among nations reporting record new cases. More than 38 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and nearly 1.1 million have died, according to a Reuters tally.

“Mortality increases always lag behind increasing cases by a couple of weeks,” Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said during a WHO social media event. “We are still losing approximately 5,000 people a we shouldn’t be complacent that death rates are coming down.” (Reporting by John Miller and Stephanie Nebehay)