20 million COVID-19 cases: WHO warns against despair

A WHO overview said 165 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, with six reaching Phase 3 of clinical evaluation.

A WHO overview said 165 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, with six reaching Phase 3 of clinical evaluation.

AFP/Kevin Winter

PARIS - The coronavirus pandemic chalked up another horrific milestone as the world surpassed 20 million recorded cases of infection from the tiny killer that has upended life just about everywhere.

In yet another staggering landmark, the death toll is expected to surpass 750,000 in a matter of days as the global health crisis that began late last year in China rages on.

As more things once unthinkable became harsh reality, the World Health Organization urged people not to despair.

READ: Global coronavirus infections pass 20 million

"Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering... But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"It's never too late to turn the outbreak around," he said.

With much of the world caught in a cycle of dispiriting outbreaks and economically crushing lockdowns, all eyes are on the race for a vaccine.

READ: Africa surpasses one million coronavirus cases

A WHO overview said 165 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, with six reaching Phase 3 of clinical evaluation.

But the WHO's emergencies director Michael Ryan warned that a vaccine was "only part of the answer," pointing to polio and measles as diseases with vaccines that have not been fully eradicated.

"You've got to be able to deliver that vaccine to a population that want and demand to have that vaccine," he said.

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Source
AFP