The majority of the world is heading into a “very, very dark period” of the coronavirus crisis, a World Health Organization (WHO) leader has said.
Nearly 18 months into the global pandemic, infections across the world are now “accelerating faster than ever”, Dr David Nabarro warned.
It comes as India suffered the deadliest seven-day period of the pandemic so far, with a daily average of 3,571 deaths in the week up to Tuesday. The previous highest was seen in the US on 14 January, with a seven-day average of 3,432 deaths.
Dr Nabarro, the WHO’s COVID-19 special envoy, told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme that the pandemic is at a “fearsome” stage.
He said: “There are a few countries that are able to demonstrate that they’ve got much lower levels of disease and they’re actually feeling that they’re recovering.
“The majority of the world is heading into a very, very dark period.
“The reason why it’s particularly dark is that now we don’t have the full data, because more and more the pandemic is spreading in places where testing is not available, so the numbers that we have we know are a major underestimate.
“It’s bigger than ever, it’s fiercer than ever and it’s causing more distress than ever – this is a bad phase.”
He added that the “evolving” virus was going to be “building up and surging in many different parts of the world”.