'Keeping things confidential or secret is dangerous':World Health Organization chief responds to Trump

He, however, urged countries to "do more in spite of this clear progress", adding that it was coordinating a "vast range of research endeavours" to investigate different treatment options for Covid-19.

Tedros, a microbiologist and once Ethiopia's health minister, has called for unity to fight a "dangerous enemy", which he says is slated to get worse. "Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us, let's prevent this tragedy", he said.

He likened the coronavirus epidemic, which has globally infected almost 2.5 million people and killed more than 170,000, to the Spanish flu in 1918 that killed as many as 100 million people worldwide.

Other countries, including Germany, Serbia, and Albania also eased their coronavirus restrictions on Monday.

Tedros didn't go into details about what could lie ahead, but he did point to politics as a reason for potentially worsening conditions. "It's like playing with fire. It's the political problem that may fuel further this pandemic".

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus didn't specify why he believed that the outbreak that has infected almost 2.5 million people and killed over 166,000, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, could be even worse.

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Regarding US President Donald Trump's claim that the health organization was being "very China-centric" and his subsequent move to cut off funding from the United States, the Director General stated, "My focus is saving lives, we don't do politics in the WHO. It's a health issue", he said. "We don't hide anything".

Early results from sero-epidemiologic surveys from around the world - which monitor levels of immunity within a population - suggest that a relatively small percentage of the population may have been infected, the WHO said.

"There is not secret at the World Health Organization, because keeping things confidential is unsafe", Ghebreyesus said at a press conference in Geneva.

The worldwide toll from the coronavirus pandemic has crossed 1.7 lakh and more than 24.75 lakh declared cases have been found in 185 countries and territories, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Three New York men are suing the World Health Organization for "incalculable" damages over its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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