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WHO Chief: COVID Pandemic Accelerating, 'Not Even Close to Being Over'


FILE - An aerial view of crosses casting shadows at the Parque Taruma cemetery is seen amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Manaus, Brazil, June 15, 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) director general says the coronavirus pandemic is "not even close to being over" and that the outbreak is accelerating globally.

At his usual press briefing from Geneva Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that Tuesday marks six months since the U.N. 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 500,000 deaths globally.

Tedros said most countries must ask how they plan to live with the coronavirus, calling it the “new normal.”

He said that while many countries have been successful in slowing the spread of the virus, they have not completely stopped it. He said that some countries have seen surges in the virus as they have attempted to reopen their societies and economies.

Tedros said that shows people are still susceptible, and the virus still has “room to move. The hard reality is this is not even close to being over...we're all in this for the long haul."

Tedros said WHO will be convening a meeting this week to assess the progress made in coronavirus research 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.

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