NEW DELHI: The World Health Organization on Friday warned that world will be going through a “new and treacherous phase” of the coronavirus pandemic with people tiring of lockdowns despite the disease’s accelerating proliferate.
The warning came as it emerged the virus was present in Italy in December, months before its first confirmed cases and about the same time as the disease was first reported in China.
The deadly disease has now killed more than 454,000 people and infected 8.4 million people worldwide, is surging in the Americas and parts of Asia even as Europe starts to ease restrictive measures.
During a virtual press briefing, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The world is in a new and dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home… but the virus is still spreading fast”.
According to the ISS insitute, Italian researchers discovered genetic traces of SARS-CoV-2 — as the virus is officially known — in samples of waste-water collected in Milan and Turin at the end of last year, and Bologna in January.