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Up to 150 million coronavirus tests may be required worldwide — WHO official

"That’s an extreme analysis but that’s what we need to infer," Mike Ryan said

GENEVA, March 21. /TASS/. The World Health Organization (WHO) has distributed some 1.5 million novel coronavirus diagnostic tests worldwide, but may require 80 to 100 times as much in the future to meet the demand, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme told reporters.

"The WHO distributed one and a half million lab tests around the world," he said. "We need to scale that up approximately 80 to 100 times."

"That’s an extreme analysis but that’s what we need to infer," Ryan added.

According to the official, the WHO is facing increasing difficulties in moving its personnel and materials, including coronavirus tests and personal protection equipment (PPE), around the world.

"It’s safe to say that the supply chain is under huge pressure," he said. "It is getting increasingly difficult for us to move the material around."

A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December 2019. Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported from more than 150 countries and territories, including Russia, which by now has 253 cases. The World Health Organization says that the novel coronavirus cases across the globe have exceeded 260,000, with more than 11,000 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially described the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic.