WHO says pandemic ‘not even close’ to over as death toll tops 500,000 Jun 30, 2020 0 134 12345 AFPGenevaThe coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the WHO warned on Monday, as the global death toll passed half a million and cases surge in Latin America and the United States.In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide rose to more than 10 million, according to an AFP tally, while some authorities reimposed lockdown measures that have crippled the global economy.“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.“But the hard reality is this is not even close to being over,” he said, adding that “although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.” The virus emerged six months ago in China, where the WHO will send a team next week in connection with the search for its origin, Tedros said.COVID-19 is still rampaging across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases -- both around a quarter of the global totals.As numerous US states are forced to reimpose restrictions on restaurants and bars, President Donald Trump has come under growing pressure to set an example by wearing a mask.Trump’s health secretary has warned the “window is closing” for the country to gain control of the situation, but the president has largely turned away from the crisis, spending much of Sunday at his golf club in Virginia.However, he may not be able to avoid masks forever -- the Florida city of Jacksonville, where Trump’s Republicans are due to hold their national convention in August, declared face masks mandatory on Monday.The second hardest-hit country Brazil registered 259,105 infections in the seven days through Sunday -- the country’s highest of any week during the pandemic.The latest figures came as protesters in cities across Brazil -- and as far away as Stockholm, London and Barcelona -- held demonstrations against President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said the virus is akin to a “little flu” and railed against stay-at-home measures.“Brazil is suffering immense pain, a hidden pain that throbs in the face of the incredible numbers of deaths caused by COVID-19,” the organisers of a protest in the capital Brasilia said.While bars were forced to close in Los Angeles, Ireland’s pubs began pouring pints for the first time in 15 weeks, as Europe -- still the hardest-hit continent -- continues to open up after seeing numbers of new cases fall.In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country had gone through a “profound shock” as he prepared to unveil a large stimulus programme. His government still plans to reopen pubs, restaurants and hairdressers across England on July 4. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES End of the line for France’s oldest nuclear plant Jun 30, 2020 0 557 Top Democrats asks US spy chiefs for briefing on Russia bounty reports Jun 30, 2020 0 1804 France’s ex-PM Fillon gets two-year term in fake job scandal Jun 30, 2020 0 556 Duda wins Polish presidential vote, but now faces tough run-off WARSAW: Incumbent President Andrzej Duda won the first round of Poland’s presidential election at the weekend, but will face a tough run-off against Warsaw’s liberal mayor in a deeply polarised country. According to .. Greece launches online virus questionnaire for tourists ATHENS: Tourists travelling to Greece will be required from Wednesday to complete an online questionnaire 48 hours in advance to determine whether they need to be tested for coronavirus. Over the weekend the Greek .. Merkel stresses German-French unity in post-corona EU recovery MESEBERG: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed German-French unity in reconstructing the EU economy following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron near Berlin. “When Germany and France are .. EU countries vote on border reopening ‘safe list’ AFP Brussels EU member states are still struggling to approve a list of “safe countries” from where travellers could visit Europe in July, with the issue now being put to a vote, diplomats said on Monday. EU envoys on Friday .. Shooting at Seattle protest site kills one DPA SEATTLE One person was killed and another was wounded early on Monday morning when they were shot in the protest area known as CHOP, in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood. Seattle police tweeted that the shooting ..