WHO warns coronavirus pandemic is 'worsening,' encourages protesting safely

New daily cases of coronavirus hit a record high on Sunday.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
2 min read

"Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it's worsening," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. 

James Martin/CNET

Over 136,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported to the WHO on Sunday, the most in a single day so far, largely driven by outbreaks in the Americas and South Asia. 

"Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it's worsening," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said during a press briefing on Monday. Tedros also noted more than 100,000 cases have been reported on nine of the past 10 days, with over 75% of new cases coming from just 10 countries.

The situation report for Sunday shows a majority of new cases coming from the US, Brazil, India and Pakistan. The organization's official tally of coronavirus cases is approaching 7 million, with over 400,000 deaths. According to a database of cases compiled by Johns Hopkins University, over 3 million have recovered

Though cases continue to increase, there is growing optimism in some pockets of the globe. On Monday, New Zealand announced it was coronavirus-free, with its last active case recovering. It will continue to keep its borders closed, but restrictions across the country have now been lifted. The director-general recognized these types of success but cautioned "the biggest threat now is complacency."

"More than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal," Tedros said. "This is the time for countries to continue to work hard on the basis of science, solutions and solidarity. 

Tedros also dedicated time to addressing protests across the globe fighting against police brutality and systemic racism. Protesters in the US are demanding justice for Ahmaud ArberyBreonna TaylorGeorge Floyd and Tony McDade -- four black people killed in hate crimes or by law enforcement in 2020.  

"WHO fully supports equality and the global movement against racism," Tedros said during the briefing. "We reject discrimination of all kinds. We encourage all those protesting around the world to do so safely."

Read more: How to protect yourself while protesting for Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatter.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.