The world has recorded a ‘Tragic Milestone’ of 1 Million Covid-19 deaths in 2022. According to World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. This “tragic milestone” calls for increased vaccination to combat the virus.
“We cannot say we are learning to live with COVID-19 when one million people have died with COVID-19 this year alone, when we are two-and-a-half years into the pandemic and have all the tools necessary to prevent these deaths,” said Tedros, speaking during his regular briefing from Geneva.
Tragic Milestone of Covid-19 Deaths is a big learning – Tedros
In an effort to immunise 70% of the world’s population, he once more pleaded with all countries to intensify efforts to vaccinate all healthcare professionals, the elderly, and other groups at the greatest danger.
Tedros expressed his satisfaction at the fact that some of the nations with the lowest immunisation rates are finally making progress, particularly in Africa.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership was formed in January by WHO and its allies, with a primary focus on the 34 nations with coverage rates of 10% or below. All except six are located there.
Only 10 nations currently have coverage rates of less than 10%, the majority of them are dealing with humanitarian crises.
Tedros emphasised that more needs to be done because one-third of the world’s population is still unvaccinated despite the fact that he welcomed the progress on the coverage of high-priority groups.
This includes two-thirds of health workers, and three-quarters of older persons in low-income countries.
“All countries at all income levels must do more to vaccinate those most at risk, to ensure access to life-saving therapeutics, to continue testing and sequencing, and to set tailored, proportionate policies to limit transmission and save lives. This is the best way to drive a truly sustainable recovery,” he said.
Meanwhile, intense Monkeypox transmission continues in the Americas region, although the number of cases globally fell by more than 20 per cent last week.
While most cases in the early stage of the outbreak were in Europe, with a smaller proportion in the Americas, the situation has now reversed.
Currently, less than 40 per cent of reported cases are in Europe and 60 per cent are in the Americas.
There are signs that the outbreak is slowing in Europe, Tedros reported, where a combination of effective public health measures, behaviour change, and vaccination, are helping to prevent transmission.
“However, in Latin America in particular, insufficient awareness or public health measures are combining with a lack of access to vaccines to fan the flames of the outbreak,” he said.
Tedros thanked vaccine manufacturer Bavarian Nordic, which on Wednesday signed an agreement with WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas to support access to its Monkeypox vaccine in Latin America and the Caribbean.
He expressed hope that the development will help to bring the outbreak under control in the region.