Informing of the grim reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has engulfed the whole world since last year, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said more Covid-19 cases reported this year than in the whole of 2020. He also added that the number of deaths will overtake last year’s total within weeks.
Speaking at the opening of the organisation’s main annual assembly, World Health Assembly, WHO chief reiterated that the world remains in a very dangerous situation’ in terms of the pandemic.
With the pandemic still raging, the virus origins a mystery and wealthy nations hoarding vaccines, the WHO gathered its member states, focused on averting the next catastrophe.
He also said “scandalous inequity” in vaccine distribution is perpetuating the pandemic and urged WHO’s 194 member states to support a massive drive to vaccinate at least 10% of people by September.
He also called on Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers to give COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing program, first refusal on new volumes of vaccines or to commit 50% of their volumes to COVAX this year.
At least 115,000 health and care workers have died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, Tedros.
“For almost 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have stood in the breach between life and death,” WHO chief said.
“Many have themselves become infected, and while reporting is scant, we estimate that at least 115,000 health and care workers have paid the ultimate price in the service of others.”
Meanwhile, the deadly Covid-19 virus has affected over 165 million people worldwide and killed more that 3.5 million people so far.
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