WHO warned of oxygen deficiency as COVID cases reach the top 10 million

Worldwide, the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that 10 million cases of coronavirus infection worldwide were lacking oxygen.

"Most countries are now having trouble achieving oxygen concentrations," WHO Director-General Tedros Adholm Gebayes said at a news conference. "Demand is out of supply right now."

The new coronavirus killed 9.3 million people and has so far killed more than 480,000 people and is growing by 1 million cases per week. The demand for 88,000 large cylinders or 620,000 cubic meters of oxygen per day today, Tedros said.

The sudden increase in COVID-19 patients with respiratory distress was attributed to the lack of oxygen concentrations required for respiration.

Tedros said the healthcare company has purchased 14,000 oxygen concentrations from manufacturers and plans to ship it to 120 countries in the coming weeks. Another 170,000 concentrations - worth about $ 100 million - will be available in the next six months.

WHO's head of emergency operations, Dr. Mike Ryan, said the epidemic is still severe in many Latin American countries as the death toll in the region has exceeded 100,000 this week. Most countries have raised 25-50% of cases in the previous week.

"I usually develop the situation in the U.S. because it is still under development and has not reached its peak, and there are likely to be more deaths as a result of consistent cases," he said.

The US criticized the WHO for dealing with the epidemic, calling the agency "China-centric". President Donald Trump has called for immediate review and reform and plans to leave the Geneva-based company.

European governments are also working with the US on a master plan.

While Tedros has promised to review accountability and epidemiology, Ryan said Wednesday that the agency is having internal discussions on its actions, including learning about controlling the virus.

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