Monday , May 17 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are not the only tool, says WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as he warns ‘pandemic long way from over’

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday (April 12, 2021) said that the COVID-19 vaccines are not the only tool and warned that the ‘pandemic is a long way from over’.

During the media briefing on COVID-19, the WHO Chief said, “Make no mistake, vaccines are a vital and powerful tool. But they are not the only tool.”

Tedros informed that in January and February, the world saw six consecutive weeks of declining cases, but now, it has seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases, and four weeks of increasing deaths.

“Last week was the fourth-highest number of cases in a single week so far,” he stated.

He also said that several countries in Asia and the Middle East have seen large increases in cases, despite the fact that more than 780 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered globally.

Tedros said that the WHO does not want endless lockdowns and that the countries that have done best have taken a tailored, measured, agile and evidence-based combination of measures.

“We too want to see societies and economies reopening, and travel and trade resuming. But right now, intensive care units in many countries are overflowing and people are dying – and it is totally avoidable,” he expressed.

“This pandemic is a long way from over. But we have many reasons for optimism,” he added.

The WHO Chief said that this disease is not flu and that young, healthy people have died. “And we still don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of infection for those who survive,” he stated.

Tedros said that the decline in coronavirus cases and deaths during the first two months of the year shows that COVID-19 and its variants can be stopped.

“With a concerted effort to apply public health measures alongside equitable vaccination, we could bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months. Whether we do or not comes down to the decisions and the actions that governments and individuals make every day. The choice is ours,” he said.

Meanwhile, the global COVID-19 caseload has increased to 13,66,87,436, as per the data by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center on Tuesday (April 13, 2021, at 12:50 PM). The world has also witnessed 29,46,568 COVID-19-related deaths. 

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