After 500,000 deaths, WHO warns that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is “to come”


Six months since the new coronavirus outbreakThe pandemic is still far from over, the World Health Organization said Monday, warning that “the worst is yet to come.” Reaching the half-year milestone just like the the death toll exceeded 500,000 and the number of confirmed infections exceeded 10 million, the WHO said it was time to re-engage in the fight to save lives.

“Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world, and our lives, would be affected by this new virus,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a virtual conference.

“We all want this to end. We all want to get on with our lives. But the harsh reality is that this is not even close to ending,” he said. “Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually accelerating.”

Tedros added that “we are all in this for the long term.”

“We will need greater reserves of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the coming months,” he said. “We have already lost a lot, but we cannot lose hope.”

Tedros also said that the pandemic had brought out the best and the worst in humanity, citing acts of amiability and solidarity, but also erroneous information and the politicization of the virus.

In an atmosphere of global political division and fractures at the national level, “the worst is yet to come. I am sorry to say that,” he said.

“With this type of environment and condition, we fear the worst.”

WHO will send a team to China next week in search of the origin of the virus that caused the global pandemic.

The organization has been lobbying China since early May to invite its experts to help investigate the animal origins of the coronavirus.

“We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started,” said Tedros. “We will send a team next week to China to prepare for that and we hope that will lead to an understanding of how the virus started.”

He did not specify the composition of the team, or what specifically his mission would consist of.

Scientists believe the virus jumped from animals to humans, possibly from a market in Wuhan that sells exotic animals for meat.

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