The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a sobering warning late this week about the status of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the virus that has killed more than 460,000 people worldwide is still malignant.
“The pandemic is accelerating. More than a 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported [on Thursday], the most in a single day so far,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference Friday.
He added, “The world is in a new a dangerous phase. The virus is still spreading fast, it is still deadly and most people are still susceptible. We call on all countries and all people to exercise extreme vigilance.”
Tedros said that more than half of the 150,000 cases were from the Americas, with a significant number of cases coming from Asia as well.
The U.S., which leads the world in confirmed cases and deaths, has seen a spike in cases in several states over the past couple of weeks. Texas and Florida both set records for daily cases, while California officials called on all people to wear masks amid rising cases.
A spike in cases also led Apple to temporarily reclose 11 stores across four states. AMC, meanwhile, reversed an earlier decision and said it will now require patrons to wear masks when the movie theater chain reopens next month.
In Beijing, a new outbreak of the virus originating from the city’s largest produce market led the Chinese government to shut down schools and businesses while also locking down the surrounding residential areas.