World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the world is in the early stages of another wave of infections and deaths caused by Covid-19.
|WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: AFP|
Addressing members of the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo today, July 21, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the world’s failure to share vaccines, testing supplies and treatments, further highlighted the two opposing sides of the Covid-19 pandemic. Countries that have enough resources like a Covid-19 vaccine are reopening, while other countries are still “closed” to limit the spread of the virus.
“It is not only a moral outrage, but also an epidemiological and economic self-defeat,” said Tedros, emphasizing that the longer the Covid-19 pandemic lasts. causing more economic and social instability.
“The pandemic is a test and the world is failing,” the WHO director-general added.
After being postponed last year due to the pandemic, The Tokyo Olympics will officially open on July 23. However, the rising Covid-19 cases in Tokyo have overshadowed the heat of the Olympics. Spectators were banned from the stadium this month after the Japanese government declared a state of emergency.
In recent days, the number of new Covid-19 infections around the Tokyo metropolitan area has increased by more than 1,000 cases per day. Nationwide, Japan has so far recorded more than 848,000 Covid-19 infections and more than 15,000 deaths amid a relatively slow implementation of the vaccination program.
The first case of Covid-19 infection hit the athletes village over the weekend. To date, there have been more than 70 infections linked to the Tokyo Olympics.
Mr Tedros said the Olympics were a celebration of “something our world needs now, more than ever – a celebration of hope”.
On the other hand, the WHO Director-General criticized the difference in Covid-19 vaccination implementation between rich and low-income countries. According to the head of WHO, 75% of the total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given in 10 countries so far, while only 1% of the population in poor countries have received at least 1 injection.
WHO calls for a major global effort to roll out vaccinations to at least 70% of the population in all countries by the middle of next year.
“The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it. This is in our hands,” Tedros said. “We have all the tools we need: we can prevent this, we can test and treat.”
The WHO Director-General also called on the world’s leading economies to increase sharing of Covid-19 vaccines and accelerate global efforts to make vaccines easier to access, as well as encourage businesses to scale up. vaccine production.