There’s just one thing millions of people around the world want to hear about the Covid-19 pandemic: it’s over.
But for now, that’s just wishful thinking, warns the head of the World Health Organization.
The pandemic is not only far from over, WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus told a news conference Monday in Geneva, the infection rate is still accelerating, according to the Reuters news agency.
“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives,” Tedros said. “But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
The coronavirus has infected well over 10 million people around the world, reports CNBC on MSN — including more than 189,000 on Sunday alone. Nearly one-quarter of those new cases are in the United States,.
The Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Tracker shows that as of Monday, there have been more than 2.5 million cases of coronavirus infection in the U.S. and 125,864 people have died.
So what about scientists’ multiple drives to create an effective vaccine?
“The head of the WHO’s emergencies program, Mike Ryan, told [Monday’s] briefing that tremendous progress had been made towards finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection, but there was still no guarantee the effort would succeed,” Reuters says.
A major reason why the virus has been so hard to fight is that it mutates rapidly.
One seemingly minor mutation has gone from being extremely rare to nearly universal around the world — because it allows the virus “to enter human cells the way a burglar picks a lock,” reports the Washington Post.
“The mutation doesn’t appear to make people sicker, but a growing number of scientists worry that it has made the virus more contagious,” the Post says.