After a record number of new COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide over the weekend, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the pandemic is worsening despite some regions having appeared to slow its spread.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that the world has “clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic” and the “outbreak is accelerating.”

Ghebreyesus acknowledged that while the number of infections appears to have levelled off globally, some countries such as the United States and Brazil continue to see a surge in cases.

“In reality, some countries have made significant progress in reducing the number of deaths, while in other countries, theirs are still on the rise,” Ghebreyesus said in a virtual press conference.

The comments come after the WHO said its member nations reported more than 212,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest single-day total and increase since the start of the pandemic. The numbers were reported amid Fourth of July celebrations, which U.S. health officials said may add to increasing case numbers in the coming weeks.

Ghebreyesus commended the countries who have made progress in reducing their case numbers and deaths for implementing “targeted actions towards the most vulnerable groups,” including for those living in long-term care facilities.



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