July 14, 2020 -- World Health Organization experts warned Monday that North and South American countries, including the U.S., are the center of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they painted a sober picture of the months ahead.
“Expecting that we will eradicate or eliminate this virus within the coming months is not realistic,” said Mike Ryan, MD, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program. “Also, believing that magically, we will get a perfect vaccine that everyone will have access to is not realistic,” he said.
Ryan said additional “limited or geographically focused” lockdowns may be necessary in specific areas where transmission is out of control.
He warned that areas seeing surging cases need to take urgent steps.
“We need to reestablish trust, communication, and strong government-led strategies that can turn this around,” he said.
Ryan also acknowledged that death rates from COVID-19 are falling in many places and credited that to better treatment and diagnosis of the disease.
“We’re getting better at treating cases. We’re getting better at diagnosing the disease earlier,” he said.