We cannot say we are learning to live with COVID-19 when 1 million people have died with COVID-19 this year alone, WHO DG Dr Tedors said.
GENEVA, Aug 26 (The CONNECT) – As many as ten lakh people have died of COVID-19 so far this year alonr.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said, this week, we crossed the tragic milestone of 1 million reported deaths so far this year.
One-third of the world’s population remains unvaccinated, including two-thirds of health workers and three-quarters of older adults in low-income countries, said WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressing a global media conference last night (IST).
“We cannot say we are learning to live with COVID-19 when 1 million people have died with COVID-19 this year alone, when we are two-and-a-half years into the pandemic and have all the tools necessary to prevent these deaths,”
Dr Tedros asked all governments to strengthen their efforts to vaccinate all health workers, older people and others at the highest risk, on the way to 70% vaccine coverage for the whole population.
It is pleasing to see that some countries with the lowest vaccination rates are now making up ground, especially in Africa, he said.
In January this year, WHO, UNICEF and partners established the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership to accelerate vaccine coverage in the 34 countries that were below 10% coverage – all but six of which are in Africa.
Just six months later, only 10 countries still have less than 10% coverage, most of which are facing humanitarian emergencies.
It’s especially pleasing to see that coverage of high-priority groups is improving, with many countries making impressive progress towards vaccinating 100% of health workers and 100% of older people.
Meanwhile, the number of weekly reported cases fell by more than 20% globally, although new cases increased in the Americas, where we are continuing to see intense transmission.
In the early stages of the outbreak, most reported cases were in Europe, with a smaller proportion in the Americas.
That has now reversed, with less than 40% of reported cases in Europe and 60% in the Americas.
There are signs that the outbreak is slowing in Europe, where a combination of effective public health measures, behaviour change and vaccination are helping to prevent transmission.
However, in Latin America in particular, insufficient awareness or public health measures are combining with a lack of access to vaccines to fan the flames of the outbreak.