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One in ten people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus thus far, according to a new estimate by the World Health Organization.

While just 35 million cases have been documented, according to tallies by the WHO and John Hopkins University, the vast majority of cases go undetected – or at least unreported – with the estimated total number of cases exceeding the number of diagnosed cases by more than 20 times.

Dr. Michael Ryan, chief of emergency operations at the WHO, said at a special session of the organization’s executive board that the “best estimates” suggest that ten percent of the world population have been infected with the virus since the pandemic began.

That would translate into about 760 million cases of the virus, out of a total population of about 7.6 billion.

“Our current best estimates tell us that about 10 percent of the global population may have been infected by this virus,” Ryan said.

"It varies depending on country, it varies from urban to rural, it varies depending on groups. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk.”

"We are now heading into a difficult period. The disease continues to spread."

“Many deaths have been averted and many more lives can be protected.”