The head of the World Health Organization says the coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over” and that the outbreak is accelerating globally.
At a press briefing on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that Tuesday marks six months since the UN health agency was first informed of a cluster of unusual pneumonia cases in China – the first indications of the coronavirus’ emergence.
“Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world and our lives would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus,” he said, noting WHO has since recorded more than 10 million cases and 500,00 deaths globally.
Tedros said WHO will be convening a meeting this week to assess the progress made in coronavirus research so far and reevaluate priorities moving forward as the pandemic continues.
Dozens of vaccine candidates are currently in early stages of testing and some may move into late-stage testing this summer.
Tedros warned that because “most people remain susceptible” to the virus, the world is still only in the early stages of the outbreak. “The virus still has a lot of room to move,” he said. “The hard reality is this is not even close to being over…we’re all in this for the long haul.”