WHO to send team to China to investigate origin of COVID-19
Updated: 2020-06-30 13:48:59 KST
It's been half a year since COVID-19 broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
With no sign of a slowdown in the number of new cases, the WHO chief on Monday said he was sending a team of experts to China to try and identify the source of the virus.
"Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important, its signs, its public health. We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started. And we will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that."
He also warned the worst is yet to come, adding that with the current environment and the condition the world is in, the WHO is bracing for the worst.
However, the WHO chief said countries like South Korea have shown that the virus can be suppressed and controlled without a vaccine, and he called on other governments to be "serious" about measures such as contact tracing, and for citizens to take responsibility for their own personal hygiene.
Among the hardest hit countries, the U.S. continues to see a sharp uptrend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, confirming tens of thousands of new infections each day.
The total number of cases in the U.S. has now surpassed 2.6 million,.. with over 128-thousand deaths.
The country's leading public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci also warned on Monday that the U.S. is "unlikely" to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 even with a vaccine.
He added that a "general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling" is likely to thwart any vaccination efforts.
Recent polls in the U.S. show many Americans don't want to take a vaccine.
A survey in May showed only half of Americans would get a vaccine if one becomes available, while a Washington Post survey revealed well over a quarter would likely refuse one.
However, with over 10.3 million infections and half a million deaths worldwide, many of the hardest-hit countries like Brazil, Russia, and India are crying out for a vaccine.
However, due to clinical trials, it's likely they'll have to wait until the end of 2020 at the earliest.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.