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COVID-19 death toll could double to 2 million before vaccine in wide use - WHO

GENEVA/ZURICH, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The death toll from the coronavirus could double to 2 million before a successful vaccine is widely used and could be even higher without concerted action to curb the pandemic, an official at the World Health Organization said on Friday.

“Unless we do it, all the number you speak about (2 million deaths) is not only imaginable, but sadly very likely,” Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme, said in a briefing on Friday.

His assessment came as the total number of deaths nine months since the virus was discovered in China neared the grim milestone of 1 million. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebenay and Emma Farge in Geneva and Michael Shields in Zurich; Writing by Josephine Mason in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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