11:51 GMT23 April 2021
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    Nations Restart Economies as Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Continues (143)

    According to the latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 8.33 million cases of COVID-19 have been registered worldwide, while 449,182 people have died from the disease in 216 countries and territories.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating and the virus is still spreading fast, Director-General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

    The WHO chief also noted that more than 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the organisation on 18 June, with half of those cases registered in the Americas – although South Asia and the Middle East also registered large daily rises.

    ​"The world is in a new and dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies. But the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly and most people are still susceptible", Tedros said.

    According to Tedros, the WHO is calling on all countries and all people to "exercise extreme vigilance and continue maintaining (social) distance from others".

    In the meantime, the search for a vaccine against the coronavirus continues all over the world.

    A COVID-19 vaccine was tested on 18 volunteers in a Russian hospital, they have not reported any side effects or complained about their health so far, the Russian Defence Ministry said on 18 June.

    Prior to this, German biopharmaceutical company CureVac announced that it had received permission to conduct the first stage of clinical trials for its vaccine against COVID-19 from the Belgian and German authorities.

    A scientist examines COVID-19 infected cells under a microscope during research for a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a laboratory of BIOCAD biotechnology company in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 20, 2020
    © REUTERS / Anton Vaganov
    The first human trials of a vaccine against COVID-19 produced by Japanese researchers will commence on 30 June, according to Osaka prefecture.

    The Trump administration last month Operation Warp Speed, a joint project of the Health and Defence Departments, which aims to deliver 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021.

    On 11 March, the WHO declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic.

    According to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard, the global case tally now stands at 8.5 million, while the death toll is at 454,380.

    Nations Restart Economies as Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Continues (143)
    coronavirus, COVID-19, World Health Organization (WHO)
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