The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday that the world has entered a "new and dangerous phase" in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
This is because countries across the globe reported more than 150,000 new virus cases in the last day, the largest single-day increase in cases. "Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly. And most people are still susceptible," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Friday news briefing. More than 450,000 people have died after contracting the virus, according to the agency. The U.S. continues to lead the world in terms of case counts, with more than 2.2 million reported in the country by Friday Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated the U.S. would record close to 170,000 COVID-19 deaths by October 1 and Brazil was estimated to surpass 125,000 deaths by early August.
China recently began reporting new cases in Beijing. Virus cases have been on the rise in the Middle East over the past month, with Iran leading the region and surpassing 200,000 this week. "We continue to call on all countries to focus on the basics: find, isolate, test and care for every case,"Dr. Ghebreyesus said.