The United States could potentially become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic due to a “very large acceleration” of the infections, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday.
More than 50,000 people in the U.S. have been infected by the respiratory virus, forcing governors across the country to order tens of millions of citizens to stay home.
“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, when asked about the U.S. being the new epicenter of the virus. “We cannot say that is the case yet but it does have that potential.”
However, Harris identified some positive signs like more comprehensive testing and efforts to further isolate the sick and trace their immediate contacts who were exposed to the virus.
As Reuters notes, Europe was the center of the transmissions with Italy being the worst hit with the world’s highest numbers of deaths, though fatalities are slowing down.