The head of the World Health Organization warned Friday that humanity is facing “a new and dangerous phase” of the coronavirus crisis.
“The pandemic is accelerating,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The remarks from came at a media briefing in Geneva where Tedros announced a grim milestone.
“More than 150,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported to WHO yesterday—the most in a single day so far,” he said.
Tedros acknowledged that people worldwide were eager to be free from lockdown restrictions but warned that “the virus is still spreading fast” and is “still deadly.”
“The world is in a new & dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies & economies.
But the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly & most people are still susceptible”-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) June 19, 2020
He added that “strict and sustained implementation” of public health measures to curb the spread of the virus remains essential but also noted the difficulty of carrying out such efforts in refugee camps, where migrants face huge risks of being sickened by Covid-19.
The new comments come as a tally from Johns Hopkins University shows there have been 8,520,761 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 454,889 deaths from Covid-19. The total cases include 2,203,659 just from the United States, where the virus has claimed the lives of 118,519.
Tedros, in his Friday comments, stessed theneed for countries to focus on “the basics” to tackle the public health crisis, including testing.
President Donald Trump, meanhwile, told the Wall Street Journal this week that testing for Covid-19 is “overrated.”