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Covid pandemic at a ‘vital juncture’, says WHO’s Tedros

WHO Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks throughout a information convention at WHO headquarters in Geneva, December 20, 2021

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Pictures

Circumstances are ripe for Covid-19 to mutate into extra new variants and it’s harmful to imagine the pandemic is nearing its finish, the WHO’s prime official warned on Monday.

Chatting with the board of the World Well being Group, Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated greater than 80 million Covid instances had been reported to the WHO because the Omicron variant was recognized simply 9 weeks in the past – greater than in all of 2020.

Final week, a median of 100 instances have been reported to the group each three seconds, Tedros added, and each 12 seconds somebody misplaced their life to the virus.

Whereas instances have skyrocketed, Tedros famous that the “explosion” in instances had not been matched by a rise in deaths, though deaths rose in all areas, significantly Africa, the place international locations have struggled to entry vaccines to acquire.

“It is harmful to imagine that Omicron would be the final variant or that we’re within the endgame,” Tedros warned. “Quite the opposite, the circumstances worldwide are perfect for additional variants to emerge. To vary the course of the pandemic, we should change the circumstances that drive it.”

He added that the world can’t “gamble on a virus whose evolution we can’t management or predict.”

Final week, one other senior WHO official warned that though the unfold of omicron instances is slowing in some international locations, excessive an infection charges around the globe would probably result in new variants by permitting the virus to mutate.

Covid emergency ‘could finish this yr’

Nonetheless, Tedros was optimistic that with the fitting method, the pandemic may attain a tipping level in 2022.

Recognizing that individuals have been fed up with the pandemic and that many governments have been “strolling a tightrope” to attempt to steadiness an infection management with what is suitable to their populations, Tedros stated there have been “no simple solutions” .

However he added: “If international locations use all [the WHO’s] Combining methods and instruments, we are able to finish the acute part of the pandemic this yr – we are able to finish Covid-19 as a world well being emergency, and we are able to do it this yr.”

“Important level”

Tedros’ speech to the WHO board on Monday got here after he held a press convention throughout a gathering with Svenja Schulze, Germany’s Minister for Financial Cooperation and Growth.

In the course of the convention, Tedros praised Germany – WHO’s largest donor – for approaching international public well being with “solidarity and multilateralism”.

“These qualities are extra necessary than ever because the Covid-19 pandemic is now coming into its third yr and we’re at a vital juncture,” Tedros advised reporters.

“We have now the instruments to finish the acute part of this pandemic. However we should use them pretty and judiciously.”

Noting Germany’s dedication to worldwide cooperation and preventing the pandemic below its newly assumed G-7 presidency, Tedros hailed the nation’s efforts as “an instance for everybody,” however warned that “we nonetheless have a protracted method to go.” have us”.

Greater than 71 million new instances of Covid have been registered around the globe within the final 4 weeks, based on information from Johns Hopkins College. Whereas the US and France recorded the best case counts throughout that interval, at 18.3 million and seven.6 million, respectively, Yemen and Vanuatu have suffered the world’s highest case fatality charges all through the disaster, JHU information reveals.

In Yemen, the place civil conflict is raging and fewer than 2% of the inhabitants has been vaccinated, practically 1 in 5 individuals who contracted Covid-19 died, based on JHU. In distinction, in Vanuatu — the place instances have remained low throughout the pandemic however solely a 3rd of the inhabitants has been immunized in opposition to the virus — the fatality price is 14%.

However based on Tedros, vaccination is not the one factor world leaders want to think about as they search for methods to assist lower-income international locations defend their populations from the consequences of the virus.

“Vaccines alone won’t finish the pandemic,” Tedros stated. “Many international locations want diagnostics, life-saving therapies — together with oxygen and assist to roll out vaccines.”

Written by trendingatoz

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