COVID-19: World entering new and dangerous phase, says WHO

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COVID-19: World entering new and dangerous phase, says WHO

COVID-19: World entering new and dangerous phase, says WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the world was entering a “new and dangerous phase” of the coronavirus pandemic as continue continue to grow. 

By Saturday, more than 8,633,000 cases had been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO). More than 460,000 people have died after contracting the virus, according to the agency’s tallies.

Most of the new cases reported in the last days were from the Americas, Ghebreyesus said rising case counts in South Asia and the Middle East were also cause for concern.

In other parts of the world, China recently began reporting new cases in Beijing after enforcing strict lockdowns during the early months of the year, and India retained its position as the fourth most affected country, with more than 380,000 cases reported to the WHO by Friday.

Meanwhile, virus cases have been on the rise in the Middle East over the past month, with Iran leading the region and surpassing 200,000 this week.

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Lockdowns imposed to halt the spread of the disease have caused crippling economic damage, but the WHO said the pandemic still posed a major threat.

“The world is in a new and dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home, but the virus is still spreading fast,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.

A vaccine remains months off at best despite several trials, while scientists are still discovering more about the virus, its symptoms and the extent to which it may have spread before being identified.

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WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus repeated his call for countries and people to remain vigilant against the disease, and to continue efforts focused on containing the disease, including though testing and contact tracing.

As nations look to open up the virus continues to spread at a swift rate, he said. Nobody is safe from the virus, he added, urging people to continue to practice social distancing, wear protective masks and keep their hands washed.