WHO: US could overtake Europe as coronavirus epicenter

The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has the potential to exceed that in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) says as the number of reported US cases surges.

The pandemic began in China in December but the epicenter has since shifted from Asia to Europe.

WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris tells reporters during a virtual press conference that 85 percent of the new cases reported to the global body overnight had come from Europe and the United States, now the two “main drivers of the outbreak.”

The latest WHO coronavirus daily situation report — published late Monday, before the overnight figures — showed that Europe reported 20,131 new cases in the preceding 24 hours, while the United States reported 16,354, more than doubling its total caseload.

Asked whether the United States could overtake Europe as the epicenter of COVID-19, Harris said: “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in the number of cases from the US, so it does have that potential.

“We cannot say that that is the case yet but it does have that potential. They have a very large outbreak and an outbreak increasing in intensity.”


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