BRUSSELS, Sept. 12, 2019 - Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a press conference on occasion of the Global Vaccination Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 12, 2019.. Image Source: Xinhua/Zheng Huansong/IANS

Geneva, July 4 : The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic to "wake up" to the situation on the ground and to "take control" of the spread of the virus.

"People need to wake up. The data is not lying. The situation on the ground is not lying," Michael Ryan, WHO emergencies director, told reporters here on Friday.

Noting that "too many countries are ignoring what the data is telling them", the WHO official said "it is never too late in an epidemic to take control".

"There are good economic reasons that the countries need to bring their economies back online," he said.

"It is understandable, but you can't ignore the problem either. The problem will not magically go away." On Saturday morning, the total number of global COVID-19 cases stood at 11,047,217, while the fatalities rose to 524,614, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The Americas are the hardest-hit region with the US accounting for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 2,793,425 and 129,432, respectively.

On Friday, the US registered the highest single day spike with over 57,000 cases as the number of infections in 40 out of the 50 states were increasing at an accelerated rate.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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