The coronavirus pandemic reached a new one-day high Thursday with 150,000 new confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization.
Almost half of those cases were reported in the Americas, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.
“The world is in a new and dangerous phase,” Tedros said. “Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies, but the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.”
Tedros urged countries and organizations to continue to focus on the basics of prevention, including proper sanitation and social distancing. He also pointed to an increased concern about the spread of the coronavirus in refugee communities across the world as well as refugees’ precarious economic situations.
He cited a Red Cross report released Thursday that found that around 70% of refugees reported losing their jobs since the start of the pandemic, while 80% said that their daily expenses had increased in that time.
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 8.5 million cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with the highest number of cases and deaths resulting in the United States. Close to 119,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus, and numbers continue to plateau or even rise in some U.S. states.