THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) has warned once again that the worst may be yet to come in the global battle with coronavirus.
WHO chiefs have said that if too many countries irresponsibly disregard healthcare precautions then case numbers will continue to rise for some time.
"Let me be blunt: too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one," director general Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus said on Monday during a virtual press briefing.
"If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go - it is going to get worse and worse and worse."
The stark warning comes as Ireland prepares to enter Phase Four of its roadmap to reopening the country in six days' time.
International travel is on the rise again, risking further spread of Covid-19.
There have been over 13 million confirmed cases of the virus around the globe since the outbreak began back in December last year, and the death toll stands at more than half a million.
Mr Tedros, who has been far from optimistic about the pandemic in recent weeks, added: "There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future ... there is a lot to be concerned about.
US President Donald Trump has been particularly critical of Mr Tedros' leadership, and of the WHO as a whole.
Earlier this month, Trump sanctioned the withdrawal of American funds to the WHO as a result of what he perceived to be a poorly managed and "China-centric" approach to dealing with the pandemic.