The world has entered a new and dangerous phase of the coronavirus pandemic, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Friday.
World COVID Infections Reach Eight Million, WHO Says
During a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva, the director warned that the virus contagion rate is increasing in an accelerated manner, with the Americas as the epicenter of the upsurge.
"The virus is still spreading fast, it is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible," Adhanom said. Although, the Americas are not the only factor directly influencing the increase of contagion toll, South Asia and the Middle East are also reporting growth of new cases.
WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan also addressed the problem, stressing Brazil's difficult situation. There had been 1,230 COVID-19 deaths in the previous 24 hours in the South American nation.
He also pointed out that easing quarantine measures should be a gradual process, to avoid complications and a possible second wave of infections.
"Exiting lockdowns must be done carefully, in a step-wise manner, and must be driven by the data," he said. "I don't know what are the chances the virus will surprise you."
In a moment when several vaccines are being tested worldwide, WHO remains cautious about the results, and warns that "large-scale testing would be needed with side-effects carefully monitored."
Regarding this, Tedros Adhanom was straightforward and alerted that "although it is not impossible to find a vaccine ... it's going to be a very difficult journey."