It has now been six months since the first cases of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness were reported in Wuhan, China.
At the time it was feared that we would see a repeat of the Sars outbreak of 2002 to 2004, which killed 774 people.
Now, with more than 500,000 people dead and more than 10 million confirmed cases worldwide, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said this is "a moment for all of us to reflect", the BBC reported.
But, he warned, the "worst is yet to come" - adding that "with this kind of environment and conditions, we fear the worst".ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE: India cases jump to 567,536; global tally past 10.4 mn
Despite progress in some countries, he said the pandemic was speeding up and the world would need even greater stores of resilience, patience and generosity in the months ahead. "The critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus.
That is the new normal," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a daily press briefing on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.A health worker collects a nasal sample for Covid-19 Ag rapid antigen testing at Chakkarpur Community Centre, near DLF Phase 4, in Gurugram
"Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world - and our lives - would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus," Tedros said at the WHO press conference. He urged all countries to prioritise five sets of measures to save lives, including empowering communities and individuals to protect themselves and others, suppressing virus transmission, saving lives with oxygen and dexamethasone for instance, accelerating research on COVID-19, and strengthening political leadership and solidarity.
Tedros also announced an updated and detailed timeline of the WHO's response to the pandemic for the public to understand how the UN health body has been responding to the outbreak.