Pandemic enters 'new and dangerous phase' as cases rise in 81 countries, WHO lead says

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating, with more than 150,000 new daily cases reported June 18, the highest daily increase to date, said World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD.  

"The world is in a new and dangerous phase," said Dr. Tedros. "Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and their economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible."

According to a New York Times database, 81 nations have reported a growth in new cases over the past two weeks, while 36 have seen declines.

Nearly half of the new cases yesterday came from the Americas, Dr. Tedros said.

Dr. Tedros called on all countries to "exercise extreme vigilance," urging individuals to continue following social distancing measures, wear masks and wash their hands. He said nations must still identify, isolate, test and care for every person with COVID-19, and to test and quarantine every contact.  

More articles on public health:
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Where new COVID-19 cases are rising, falling and staying the same — June 18

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