The novel coronavirus pandemic is still accelerating and its effects will be felt for decades, the director general of the World Health Organization said on Monday at an online conference.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual health forum organized by the Dubai authorities that the greatest threat to the world is not the virus itself, but "the lack of global solidarity and leadership."
"We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world," he said.
"The politicization of the pandemic has exacerbated it. Neither of us is safe until we are all safe."
The WHO warned last week of a new and dangerous phase of the coronavirus pandemic, in which people get tired of blocking themselves despite the rapid spread of the disease.
COVID-19 disease, which has now killed over 4.65,000 people and infected nearly nine million worldwide, is increasing in America and parts of Asia, even as Europe begins to ease restrictive measures.
Locks put in place to stop the virus from spreading have caused debilitating economic damage, but the WHO says the pandemic is still a major threat.
"The pandemic is still accelerating," Tedros told the virtual conference.
"We know that the pandemic is much more than a health crisis, it is an economic crisis, a social crisis and in many countries it is a political crisis," he said.
"Its effects will be felt in the coming decades."
A vaccine remains months at best, despite several studies, while scientists find out more about the virus, its symptoms, and the extent of its spread before it is identified.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)