Etienne warned that the pandemic still requires major control interventions, and it is very dangerous to assume that everything is going back to normality.
"We must be clear that opening up too early gives this virus more room to spread and puts our populations at greater risk. Look no further than Europe," she alerted.
The WHO regional director said that cases in Colombia's border area with Venezuela have increased ten-fold in the last two weeks and that death rates are climbing in parts of Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Argentina.
She also referred to the decision of many countries to resume social and public life, over reasons she found incomprehensible, such as the need for children to study.
On Friday, for example, even though Brazil has recorded almost four and a half million people infected so far, the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro considered "inadmissible" to lose the school year due to the pandemic.
"Although the entire world is racing to develop new tools to prevent and cure COVID-19, a safe and effective vaccine that can be manufactured and delivered at scale is not around the corner," Etienne warned.