'Mixed picture' in Europe as Coronavirus vaccine is at least 12 months away: WHO

The coronavirus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times in over 170 countries

The number of new coronavirus or COVID-19 cases is easing at this moment in some parts of Europe which include Italy, Spain but the pandemic is still growing in Britain and Turkey, the WHO stated on Tuesday.

"The overall world outbreak, 90 percent of cases are coming from Europe and the United States of America. So we are certainly not seeing the peak yet," the spokeswoman of WHO spokeswoman Dr Margaret Harris mentioned ina briefing of Geneva.

WHO will issue guidance to member states

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The WHO will issue guidance to member states later in the day listing six steps that they need to ensure they have in place before starting to ease any restrictions, she said. "The most important one is, is your transmission controlled?" The United States has the largest epidemic currently and has been a "fantastic partner" in addition to being the largest donor to the WHO, Harris said.

"There will always be criticisms of organisations, it's important to listen to criticism especially constructive criticism," she said. "And our work will go on regardless of any kind of issues." Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, voiced confidence on Monday that the United States would continue funding his UN agency, despite President Donald Trump's criticism of the WHO's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia has become China's largest source of imported cases, with a total of 409 infections originating in the northern neighbour. "China in fact is now really focusing on looking at - apart from making sure that there are not new local cases - but their biggest threat is imported cases," Harris said. On vaccines, Harris said: "We really shouldn't be expecting to see the vaccine at least for 12 months or longer."

(With agency inputs)

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