WHO warns of 'premature rush' back to normality

A World Health Organization official issued a stark warning on Monday that several countries had made a 'premature rush' back to normality.

As the United States and many parts of Europe ease social distancing restrictions, the WHO's head of emergencies program Mike Ryan warned that a new wave of COVID-19 infections could be coming.

He added that for a lot of the world, the pandemic was just getting started:

"All of the countries of the Americas, we still have nearly 1 million cases a week. 1 million. A week. You know it's not, it isn't over. And the same in Europe. In European region with half a million cases a week. It's not like this thing has gone away."

Ryan's warning comes amid renewed concern over the highly contagious Delta variant, first detected in India.

The variant has now spread to about 100 countries, and WHO officials have warned it could soon become the dominant form of the virus around the world.

It's sparked a resurgence of cases across parts of Europe, Asia, and the U.S., in pockets where vaccination rates remain low.

It's also driving a spike in Japan, casting a shroud over the Tokyo Olympics later this month.