Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that there may never be a "silver bullet" to cure COVID-19 as nations work to develop a vaccine.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus noted that multiple vaccines have entered phase three of clinical trials but said that in the meantime nations must take all measures necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"There's no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be," he said. "For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control. Testing, isolating patients and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all."
He also encouraged individuals to practice social distancing, wear a mask, clean their hands regularly and cough safely away from others.
"The message to people and governments is clear: do it all. And when it's under control keep going!" Tedros said. "Keep strengthening the health system."
Tedros' message came as 18.2 million cases have been reported worldwide and 691,303 have died as a result of the virus, according to data collected by John's Hopkins University.
The United States continues to lead the world in reported cases and deaths, with 4.7 million cases and 155,366 deaths.
South America surpassed 5 million cases as Brazil reported 16,641 new cases for a total of 2,750,318, second only to the United States.
Peru, Chile and Colombia have all also reported more than 300,000 cases each, while in Central America Mexico has reported 439,046 cases.
"In light of the recent increase in new cases of COVID-19 globally, the only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings until we are absolutely confident, we can carry out our operations in line with all requirements from the authorities and with even stricter requirements we have set for ourselves," CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.
Norway has reported 9,334 COVID-19 cases and 256 deaths related to the virus.