Be Scared, Stay Scared: W.H.O. Warns ‘Strong Likelihood’ more Dangerous Coronavirus Variants Lie Ahead

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: A woman wears a face mask while walking into the Bourke St
Diego Fedele/Getty

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) warned Thursday nobody should relax in the face of future coronavirus threats, cautioning the strong likelihood that further, possibly more dangerous variants still lie ahead.

During a press briefing, Prof. Didier Houssin, who heads the W.H.O. emergency coronavirus committee, said the current disposition of the pandemic is “not good,” despite it being 18 months since it was officially declared a public health emergency.

“We are still running to catch up with the virus and the virus is still running after us,” he said, stating the coronavirus’ continual evolution and the differences in approach to the pandemic of the W.H.O.’s member states are a “source of difficulty.”

His words of caution continue a common theme that has dominated global government messaging since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China.

UPI reports the briefing was held as the committee published a statement from its eighth meeting a day prior.

It warned the pandemic remains a global challenge with some countries seeking to fully reopen while others are experiencing new waves of infections, resulting in divergent policies preventing a global response to the health crisis.

“The pandemic is nowhere near finished,” the committee said, adding it recognizes “the strong likelihood for the emergence and global spread of new and possibly more dangerous variants of concern that may be even more challenging to control.”

According to a live tracker of the virus by Johns Hopkins University, there have been nearly 189 million infections, including more than four million deaths, to the pandemic.

UPI contributed to this story

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.