The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the number of new Covid-19 cases per week worldwide has nearly doubled over the past two months, approaching the highest infection rate seen so far during the pandemic.
At a special ministerial meeting yesterday, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates. He said some countries that had previously avoided widespread transmission are now seeing steep increases in infections.
He attributed the alarming increase to rapidly spreading variants, inconsistent use and premature easing of public health measures, fatigue of populations with social restrictions, and dramatic inequity in vaccine coverage.
The WHO chief said vaccine equity is the challenge of the time and as WHO statistics have shown that of more than 832 million vaccine doses that have been administered globally, over 82 per cent have gone to high- or upper-middle-income countries, while low-income countries have received just 0.2 per cent.
He also urged all countries to implement an evidence-based combination of measures, including surveillance, testing, contact tracing, supportive quarantine, and compassionate care to stop the virus.