The world is in a “very dangerous time” with the COVID-19 pandemic made worse by more transmissible variants like Delta, which continues to evolve and mutate, warned World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He said that in countries with low immunization coverage, terrible scenes of overflowing hospitals were once again becoming the norm.
Aggravated by more transmissible variants, like Delta, which is quickly becoming the dominant strain in many countries, we are in a very dangerous time of this pandemic, Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing on Friday.
But no country is out of the woods yet. The Delta variant is dangerous and continues to evolve and mutate, requiring constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response, he said.
Noting that the Delta variant has been detected in at least 98 countries and is spreading rapidly in countries with low and high immunization coverage, he said there were essentially two ways for countries to tackle further outbreaks.
Public health and social measures such as enhanced surveillance, strategic testing, early detection of cases, isolation and clinical care remain essential, he said, adding that masking, physical distancing, Avoiding crowded places and keeping indoor areas well ventilated is the basis of the answer.
Ghebreyesus stressed that the world must equitably share protective equipment, oxygen, tests, treatments and vaccines and stressed that he urged leaders around the world to work together to ensure that by at the same time next year, 70% of all inhabitants of vaccinated.
“This is the best way to slow the pandemic, save lives, foster a true global economic recovery and, at the same time, prevent other dangerous variants from gaining the upper hand. By the end of September, we call on leaders to immunize at least 10 percent of the population in all countries, he said.
As new manufacturing centers, including for mRNA vaccines, are under development, the WHO chief said this could be accelerated by companies openly sharing technology and know-how.
In particular, I invite the companies BioNTech, Pfizer and Moderna to share their know-how so that we can accelerate the development of new productions. The sooner we start building more vaccination centers and increasing global vaccine capacity, the sooner we can reduce deadly outbreaks, he said.
The Delta variant, first detected in India, is now reported in almost 100 countries, which is likely an underestimate and the highly transmissible strain is expected to quickly supplant other variants and become globally dominant over the course of the next few months, the WHO said this week.
The weekly COVID-19 epidemiological update released by the WHO said that as of June 29, 2021, 96 countries had reported cases of the Delta variant, although this is likely an underestimate as the capacities The sequencing required to identify variants is limited. A number of these countries attribute outbreaks of infections and hospitalizations to this variant.
He said that given the increase in transmissibility, the Delta variant is expected to quickly supplant the other variants and become the dominant variant over the next few months.
WHO noted that the tools that exist today to fight the coronavirus, including individual, community, public health and social measures, infection prevention and control measures, which have been used from the beginning Pandemic remain effective against current variants of concern, including the Delta Variant.