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Coronavirus Entering "New and Dangerous Phase," Warns Top Doctor

Don’t think COVID-19 is over yet. It’s not, cautions W.H.O.
Two people attending to a woman with a virus lying on a stretcher in a field hospital

Just when many cities around the world were reopening after closing down due to COVID-19, their citizens going into a bright summer weekend, the grim headlines brought a hard reality: "The World Health Organization issued a dire warning on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, and noted that Thursday was a record for new daily cases—more than 150,000 globally," reports the New York Times. "The world is in a new and dangerous phase," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the W.H.O. "Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and their economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible."

According to the paper's database, "81 nations have seen a growth in new cases over the past two weeks, while only 36 have seen declines."

The Pandemic is Accelerating

"The pandemic is accelerating," said Dr. Tedros. "More than 150,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO yesterday—the most in a single day so far," he said.

In the United States, California, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and Florida had record-high single-day increases in cases yesterday. Florida, for one, has "all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission," and risks being the "worst it has ever been," according to a model by scientists at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Governor Ron DeSantis pointed to "overwhelmingly Hispanic" people to blame for the rise in cases. "Some of these guys go to work in a school bus, and they are all just packed there like sardines, going across Palm Beach County or some of these other places, and there's all these opportunities to have transmission," DeSantis said during a press conference in Tallahassee.

Experts, including Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, disagreed, saying the farmworkers left weeks ago.

"Almost half of those cases were reported from the Americas, with large numbers also being reported from South Asia and the Middle East," Dr. Tedros added, about the 150,000 new cases worldwide.

How You Can Stay Healthy

"Dr. Tedros urged individuals to continue to maintain distance from others, to cover their noses and mouths with masks when appropriate and wash their hands," reports the Times. "He said nations must continue to find, isolate, test and care for every person infected with the virus, and to test and quarantine every contact." 

President Donald Trump, for his part, called testing "overrated" and, at press time, still planned to hold a rally in Oklahoma, a state where cases are rising.

"We call on all countries to exercise extreme vigilance," Dr. Tedros said.

As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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