Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s health emergencies program, said on Monday that current estimates now indicate that 10 percent of the world's population may have been infected with the coronavirus.
"Our current best estimates tell us that about 10 percent of the global population may have been infected by this virus," Ryan said during a special session of the organization's executive board, according to the Associated Press.
This latest estimate is much higher than the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the most recent update on confirmed cases from WHO and Johns Hopkins placing that number at more than 35 million. 10 percent of the global population would roughly amount to more than 760 million people who may have been infected with the virus.
During a media briefing portion of Monday's event, Ryan and the board were asked if Trump's "disregard for the mask" made his own reported COVID-19 diagnosis an "inevitable" occurrence. While Ryan noted that they "don't generally comment" on any specific individual's behavior with regards to the pandemic, he did use the moment to remind those listening that following health guidelines remains the most important tool in fighting the spread.
"What we will reiterate is that each and every individual and each and every citizen should be guided by the national guidance in their country," Ryan said. "That's the combination of different measures that reduce risk. And we know these reduce risk: washing your hands, staying a safe distance from other individuals, avoiding crowded spaces, [and] wearing a mask both to protect others and yourself where you can't physically distance or where there's a risk."
In short, we are quite far from being out of the woods despite what some reckless public figures might have you believe. Mask up.