WHO's Tedros: "This is not even close to being over"

WHO's Tedros:

Six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) first identified a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases at a hospital in Wuhan, China, the number of people newly infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is rising rapidly.

Known cases in Iran, which has the tenth-highest confirmed infections worldwide, number 225,205, with with deaths at 10,670.

"We all want this to be over".

However "although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up", he warned.

Tedros said that the pandemic had brought out both the best and worst of humanity, citing acts of kindness and solidarity but also mentioning the misinformation and the politicization of the virus. And the World Health Organization warned that in an atmosphere of global division and politicisation of the COVID-19 crisis, it feared the worst was yet to come.

"That is the new normal", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a daily press briefing on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The WHO chief added, "The worst is yet to come. I'm sorry to say that".

COVID-19 is still rampaging across the USA, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases - both around a quarter of the global totals.

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After the U.S., the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 57,622 deaths from 1,344,143 cases, United Kingdom with 43,575 deaths from 311,965 cases, Italy with 34,744 deaths from 240,436 cases, and France with 29,813 deaths from 200,667 cases.

"Most people remain susceptible".

That equates to 196 people per hour, or one person every 18 seconds. About one-quarter of all the deaths so far have been in the United States, the data shows. The recent surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of Southern and Western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively.

The demonstration also took place as a protest against President Jair Bolsonaro, who is accused of downplaying the pandemic.

The WHO director general pointed to the rigorous contact tracing that was carried out in the North Kivu region of Democratic Republic of Congo during its Ebola outbreak, which was declared over last week.

As Colombia faces the daunting task of reopening certain economic sectors, the country has registered 92,000 coronavirus cases and has been recording its highest numbers of infections and deaths for nearly a week.

The death rate averages out to 78,000 per month, compared with 64,000 Aids-related deaths and 36,000 malaria deaths, according to 2018 figures from the World Health Organisation.

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