Pandemic is 'speeding up — World Health Organization director

WHO is sending a team to China to research 'how the virus started'

WHO director: Pandemic is 'speeding up'

World Health Organization director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the global COVID-19 infection rate is "speeding up" after numerous countries lifted social distancing restrictions.

It has wreaked havoc on countries, destroyed economies, stripped thousands of their livelihoods, and pushed millions to poverty, but the coronavirus pandemic is still not nearing its end, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing on Monday. We all want to get on with our lives. "We can find the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started".

Speaking to members of the media, Tedros went on to say: "Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up. We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that". The U.S. alone accounts for more than one-quarter of all confirmed cases, with almost 126,000 deaths.

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.

The United States remains the most severely affected country with over 2.68 million cases, followed by Brazil (1.37 million cases), Russian Federation (647,849), and India (568,473) as of June 30.

But even in NY, deemed to be in good health comparatively, the iconic Broadway theatre district announced it would remain closed through the end of the year. We can do better than we're doing right now.

He urged all countries to prioritize five sets of measures to save lives, including empowering communities and individuals to protect themselves and others, suppressing virus transmission, saving lives with oxygen and dexamethasone for instance, accelerating research on COVID-19, and strengthening political leadership and solidarity.

"It has to be there, that people trust it, that people are willing to use it and people are willing to respect the results that come from it".

"Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter". Brazil ranks second in the number of infections, followed by Russia, India and the United Kingdom.

In neighbouring Switzerland, organisers said that 2021's Geneva International Motor Show was cancelled, after already scrapping this year's event. The disease has since sickened more than 10 million people and killed about 500,000.

Dr Adhanom reiterated that at the moment, one may be in a low-risk category, but the choices they make could be the difference between life and death for someone else.

Named G4, it is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.

And he said any country claiming contact tracing was too hard during the coronavirus pandemic was using "a lame excuse".

About half the cases, and almost half the deaths across the globe, have come in the Americas.

Millions of health workers have been enrolled in courses through the OpenWHO.org online platform.

"People are struggling to feed their families", she said.

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