The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic has still not reached its peak – as lockdown measures are relaxed to make international travel easier.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the UN agency, said the virus is not under control ‘in most of the world’ and is ‘getting worse’.
He revealed the total number of cases of coronavirus worldwide has doubled in the last six weeks, with almost 12million confirmed infections since the pandemic first began in China back in December.
The pandemic – which has seen 550,000 people die worldwide – is now being driven by outbreaks in the US, Brazil and India.
It took four months for the first one million cases to be declared worldwide – the milestone was hit on April 3 after the pandemic began in late December in China.
But since then it has taken only three months for another 11million cases to be confirmed, showing the breakneck speed at which the virus has spread around the globe.
Dr Ghebreyesus’s stark message comes as quarantine rules for people returning to or visiting the UK from certain countries are relaxed from today.
The UK Government has published a list of 76 countries and territories from which people arriving into England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
And it comes as Chinese officials have warned of a fatal ‘unknown pneumonia’ with a death rate far higher than that of coronavirus in Kazakhstan.