The WHO has said it could take up to a year before a coronavirus vaccine is available.
A number of vaccine trials have started in various parts of the world, especially in China.
The WHO itself has also began 'solidarity trials' - which means a range of countries coming together to test four different drug combinations.
Dr Michael Ryan, head of the WHO's Emergency Health Programme, told the BBC people need to continue their current efforts to stop the spread.
"The issue with testing is we need to find suspect cases, we need to find people who have the virus and we need to isolate those patients as quickly as possible.
"The physical distancing measures that are in place and the lock downs - separate everybody from everybody else.
"But what we really need to focus on in finding those who are sick, those who have the virus and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them.
"The danger with the lock downs and all the physical distancing - and people are feeling this now - that's really putting pressure on the economy, it's putting pressure on the social system.
"If we don't put in place the strong public health measures now, when those restrictions are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up".
On a vaccine, he said: "We are talking a least a year, but that doesn't mean that we're helpless.
"We can do a lot to stop this disease right now, and we can save a lot of lives right now.
"We will work hard on the vaccines, the vaccines will come, but we need to get down and do what we need to do now".