The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the world remains mired in only the first stage of the pandemic, putting a damper on hopes for a speedy global economic rebound.
WHO’s executive director, Dr Mike Ryan said: “right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally.
“We’re still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up,” Ryan said, pointing to South America, South Asia and other parts of the world.
India, with a population of over 1.3 billion, saw a record single-day jump in new cases for the seventh straight day. It reported 6535 new infections Tuesday, raising its total to over 145,000, including close to 4200 deaths.
Most of India’s cases are concentrated in the western states of Maharashtra, home to the financial hub of Mumbai, and Gujarat. Infections have also climbed in the east as migrant workers stranded by lockdowns returned to their native villages from India’s largest cities.
In Brazil, where President Jair Bosonaro has raged against state and local leaders enforcing stay-at-home measures, WHO warned that before reopening the economy, authorities must have enough testing in place to control the spread of the virus.
Ryan said Brazil’s “intense” transmission rates means it should keep some stay-at-home measures in place, regardless of the damage to the economy.
“You must continue to do everything you can,” he said.