The World Health organization says 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for the coronavirus will be made available to low- and middle-income countries as the world approaches a death toll of 1 million.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva on Monday that the tests would cost less than $5.
He said manufacturers Abbott and SD Biosensor are working in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "make 120 million of these new, highly portable and easy-to-use rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests available over a period of six months."
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported Monday that there were close to 1 million deaths worldwide. It said there are more than 33 million infections around the globe.
In India, the country’s confirmed coronavirus infection tally reached 6 million Monday, behind only the United States, where infections passed 7 million last week.
India’s Health Ministry on Monday reported 82,170 new coronavirus cases over a 24-hour period, as well as 1,039 new confirmed deaths, taking total fatalities in the country to 95,542.
Surge expected in US
In the United States, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC, “We're nowhere near the end” of the coronavirus pandemic.
Redfield also repeated his argument that wearing a mask can be just as effective as a vaccine.
"If every one of us did it, this pandemic would be over in eight to 12 weeks," Redfield said.
A CNN investigation of Johns Hopkins data reveals the number of cases has increased by at least 10% from the previous week in 21 U.S. states.
Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told CNN an expected “huge surge” in coronavirus infections in October in the United States is also expected to continue in November and December.
European countries debate next steps
Meanwhile, Europe is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus infections, leading some governments across the continent to reimpose restrictions on residents and businesses.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is warning that his country could see a “second wave.” He said Sunday that “swift and decisive action” must be taken to battle the virus.
Britain reported 4,044 new cases on Monday. The number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at more than 437,000, according to Johns Hopkins.
In France, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government has no plan to order a new nationwide lockdown, despite a rising number of coronavirus cases.
Patrick Bouet, head of France’s National Council of the Order of Doctors, told Journal du Dimanche Sunday “if nothing changes, France will face a widespread outbreak across its whole territory for several long autumn and winter months,” and the health system would crumble under the demands.
In Spain, Madrid authorities and the national government are clashing over the extent of the steps needed to control the outbreak of new infections in the capital region.
Spain’s Health Ministry Monday reported 31,785 new cases since Friday.