The COVID-19 pandemic is not even close to ending, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.
Tedros noted that six months after China first alerted the WHO to a new respiratory infection, the sad stages of 10 million confirmed infections and 500,000 deaths had been reached.
“Most people remain sensitive, the virus still has a lot of room to move around,” he said.
“We all want it to end. We all want to continue our lives. But the harsh reality is that it is not even close to being finished. Although many countries have made progress globally, the pandemic is actually accelerating. “
WHO emergency program manager Mike Ryan said at the briefing that great strides have been made towards finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection, but there is still no guarantee that efforts would succeed.
In the meantime, countries could fight the spread of the disease by testing, isolating confirmed cases and following their contacts, he said. He distinguished Japan, South Korea and Germany for their “comprehensive and sustainable strategy” against the virus.
WHO plans to convene a meeting this week to assess the progress of research in the fight against the disease, said Tedros.
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