The World Health Organization said on Monday that the world has the means to bring the global COVID-19 pandemic under control in the coming months while urging for a fair and equitable sharing of global resources.
“We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably,” the head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
Ghebreyesus also expressed concern over the “alarming rate” at which the virus is spreading among those aged 25-29 globally, possibly due to much more contagious variants of the virus.
“It took nine months to reach one million deaths; 4 months to reach 2 million, and 3 months to reach 3 million.”
According to a leading WHO epidemiologist, Maria van Kerkhove, the latest surge in COVID-19 infections worldwide included increases among age groups previously less affected by the pandemic, she said in the same briefing.
“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.
Global climate change activist, Greta Thunberg joining the daily WHO news briefing from Sweden as a guest swipe took a swipe at “vaccine nationalism” saying it was unethical that rich countries were prioritizing their younger citizens for the vaccinations ahead of vulnerable groups in developing countries.
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, Thunberg added.
“Vaccine nationalism is what is running the vaccine distribution,” she said.
“The only morally right thing to do is to prioritize the people who are most vulnerable, whether they live in a high income or a low-income country.”