GENEVA: The coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the WHO warned on Monday, as the global death toll passed half a million and cases surged in Latin America and the United States, reports AFP.
In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide topped 10 million, while some authorities reimposed lockdown measures that have crippled the economies worldwide.“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“But the hard reality is this is not even close to being over,” he said, adding that “although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
The virus emerged at least six months ago in China, where the WHO will send a team next week in the search for its origin, Tedros said.
COVID-19 is still rampaging across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases—both around a quarter of the global totals.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the April-June quarter was expected to see the largest decline in GDP on record, adding that recovery would depend on government efforts to contain the outbreak.
Many of the south and west US states where the virus is most rampant are where state leaders pushed for early reopenings. But even in New York, deemed to be in good health comparatively, the iconic Broadway theatre district announced it would remain closed through the end of the year.