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WATCH: WHO hails ‘powerful’ show of unity on vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General on Monday said that the pledging of billions of euros for research to find a vaccine against the new coronavirus at a video-conference summit hosted by the European Union was “powerful and inspiring”.

Watch the event in the player above.

At the same time, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned countries easing COVID-19 lockdown measures to not relax “our common commitment” to hand-washing and social distancing, alongside testing and tracing to curb the spread of the new virus.

Countries around the world have recorded over 3.5 million COVID-19 cases and over 249,000 deaths, according to the John Hopkins University.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.