The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Sunday 183,020 new coronavirus infections and 4,743 deaths due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.

The global coronavirus totals now stand at 8,708,008 cases, and 461,715 deaths, according to WHO.

The previous highest daily number of COVID-19 cases was on June 18 with 181,232 cases, according to WHO data and charts.

Hydroxychloroquine out, dexamethasone in

On Saturday, WHO regional director for Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Ahmed al-Mandhari, highlighted two key developments in coronavirus research.

“Just this week alone, ongoing research has led to 2 key developments: WHO announced that the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity Trial was being stopped, based on evidence that it does not result in the reduction of mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients,” al-Mandhari said.

“At the same time, initial clinical trial results from the UK show that dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19, including patients on ventilators,” he added.

‘Track, test and trace’

Last Thursday, WHO regional director for Europe, Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, stressed how hard-hit Europe is. He stated that the European Region accounted for 31 percent of cases and 43 percent of deaths globally.

“COVID-19 is still in a very active phase in many countries. It is crucial that we continue to recover and rebuild following lockdown, but it’s also really important that authorities fully invest in having an aggressive track, test and trace surveillance system to avoid costly additional lockdowns in the weeks and months ahead should the virus rebound,” Kluge said.

“A warning shot has been fired: school re-opening in a few countries have resulted in local ‘flares’ in the number of cases – we need to remain diligent and lift restrictions with care. I repeat: The risk remains high across all countries,” he added.