Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States, the nation has “potential” to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, said during a call with reporters on Tuesday.
Harris was asked directly: “Do you see the United States going on to become the epicenter of this outbreak, overtaking Europe?”
In response Harris said, “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in the numbers of cases from the United States — so it does have that potential. We cannot say that that is the case yet, but it does have that potential.”
Earlier in the call, Harris said that the majority of the world’s latest Covid-19 cases have been in European countries and the United States.
“The main drivers of the outbreak remain Europe, but also the US. So 85% of cases that have been reported in the last 24 hours have come from the European region and the US,” Harris said on Tuesday.
“A lot of countries are now taking very strong measures to distance people, to really quarantine entire societies, and these have been shown to be an important way of slowing down this spread of the virus and buying some time,” Harris said. “But to defeat the virus, to stop it, countries also need very aggressive targeted tactics, testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every person known to be ill and also tracing and quarantining and finding every close contact.”