With several countries slowly lifting their lockdowns, people dared to hope of a mostly COVID-19 free world soon. However, while cases are slowing down in countries such as Italy and France which were previously hard hit, cases are surging in South America and South Asia. Dampening all hopes for the end of the pandemic, a WHO official warned that the world is still in the very middle of the outbreak.
“Right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally,” said Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) executive director. “We’re still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up,” Ryan said, pointing to South America and South Asia.
In South America and South Asia, the highly infectious virus has hit some of the poorest and most densely populated areas.
The WHO warned Brazil that before reopening the economy, authorities must have enough testing in place to control the spread of the virus. Brazil has 375,000 coronavirus infections and has counted over 23,000 deaths, but many fear Brazil’s true toll is much higher.
Russia recorded its highest death toll due to the deadly COVID-19 in a single day with 174 fatalities as the total number of deaths reached 3,807. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country is now 362,342-- only next to the United States and Brazil.
The novel virus, which emerged in China last December, has so far infected more than 5 million worldwide. The resulting lockdown from the global pandemic has pushed the world economy into a standstill and halted business activities across the world. The outbreak has caused immeasurable devastation to both human life and the economy.