The coronavirus pandemic is far from over and is even accelerating, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday.
"Tomorrow it will be six months since the WHO received the first reports of a group of 'pneumonia cases of unknown cause' in China," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference.
"Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world, and our lives, would be changed by this new virus," he added.
Since the start of the outbreak in December, the coronavirus has caused the deaths of more than 500,000 people worldwide, and more than 10 million cases have been reported, almost half of which are now considered recovered.
- Sanofi, GSK, AstraZeneca, Moderna: The race towards a covid-19 vaccine
- Coronavirus: Belgium already authorised 18 clinical trials
- WHO calls for ramped-up production of 'life-saving drug'
"We all want this to end. We all want to get on with our lives. But the harsh reality is that this is far from over," Ghebreyesus said, adding that "the pandemic is accelerating" at the moment.
"We have already lost so much, but we cannot lose hope," he said.
Stressing that a vaccine will be an "important tool" to control the virus over the long term, he called on governments and citizens now to put in place "simple solutions" to "save lives now."
He called on governments to "test, trace, isolate, and quarantine cases," asking people to observe hygiene measures, wear masks when necessary, and respect the social distancing rules.
The Brussels Times