• Friday, May 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:10 pm

WHO: World can bring pandemic under control within months

  • Published at 04:46 pm April 20th, 2021
Covid-19
File photo: Health workers are seen in protective gear inside a locked down portion of the Jordan residential area to contain a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Hong Kong, China January 23, 2021 Reuters

‘We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably’

The world can bring the global Covid-19 pandemic under control in the coming months provided it distributes the necessary resources fairly, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told a news briefing on Monday.

Global climate change activist Greta Thunberg, joining the briefing as a virtual guest from Sweden, took a swipe at "vaccine nationalism" and said it was unethical that rich countries were prioritising their younger citizens for vaccination ahead of vulnerable groups in developing countries.

"We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably," said the head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

However, he also expressed concern over the "alarming rate" at which Covid-19 is spreading in those aged 25-59 worldwide, possibly due to much more contagious variants.

"It took nine months to reach one million deaths; 4 months to reach 2 million, and 3 months to reach 3 million."

Thunberg said that whereas one in four people in high-income countries had now been vaccinated against Covid-19, only one in more than 500 people in poorer countries had received a shot.

"Vaccine nationalism is what is running the vaccine distribution," she said.

"The only morally right thing to do is to prioritise the people who are most vulnerable, whether they live in a high income or a low-income country."

Environmental damage

Thunberg also drew a direct link between the pandemic and the environmental destruction that she said made it much easier for dangerous viruses to leap from animal populations to humans.

"Science shows we will experience more frequent, devastating pandemics unless we drastically change our ways and the ways we treat nature ... We are creating ideal conditions for diseases to spill over from one animal to another and to us," she said.

Thunberg urged young people everywhere to get vaccinated if given an opportunity, even though they are the age group least at risk from Covid-19, out of "solidarity with people in the (high) risk groups."

A leading WHO epidemiologist, Maria van Kerkhove, told the same briefing that the latest surge in Covid-19 infections worldwide included increases among age groups previously less affected by the pandemic.

"We are seeing increased rates of transmission across all age groups," she said, adding that some 5.2 million cases were reported last week, the highest weekly increase since the start of the pandemic.

"We are seeing a slight age shift in some countries, driven by social mixing," she added.

55
Facebook 54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail