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World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak, which has now infected more than 1.2 million people globally.
On Friday, WHO officials warned that countries that rush to lift quarantine restrictions too soon risk “an even more severe and prolonged” economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic and potentially a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
“We are all aware of the profound social and economic consequences of the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva on Friday. “Ultimately the best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus.”
WHO officials also cautioned that more young people are becoming critically ill and dying from the virus, even young people with no reported underlying health conditions. Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, said it’s a mistake to believe that the virus only impacts older people and those with underlying conditions.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 1,280,000 people and has killed at least 69,789, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., the coronavirus has infected at least 337,600 people and has killed at least 9,648.