Delta variant driving new spike in cases, deaths: WHO
The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, warning that the variant is expected to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide. Ghebreyesus said that last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of COVID-19 globally adding that the deaths are increasing again.
World should battle together to put out this inferno: Ghebreyesus
"We are experiencing a worsening public health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods, and a sound global economic recovery. It is definitely worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the pandemic is not over anywhere," Ghebreyesus said, underscoring that the world should battle together to put out this pandemic inferno everywhere. Delta is now in more than 104 countries and spreading rapidly.
Delta and other variants are driving catastrophic waves of cases
The Delta variant spread is not taking the same hit everywhere, the WHO Chief said. In places, with high vaccination coverage, Delta is spreading quickly, steadily putting pressure back on health systems. In countries with low vaccine coverage, Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of cases. Even countries that successfully ward off the virus previously are now facing devastating outbreaks.
Impact on heath workers has been immeasurable
Ghebreyesus emphasized that for health workers, increased hospitalizations at any level are a challenge. He stressed that as countries lift public health measures, they must consider the impact on health workers and health systems. He also voiced concern that particularly in low-income countries, exhausted health workers are battling to save lives in the midst of shortages of personal protective equipment, oxygen, and treatments.
Countries with low vaccine coverage should now be prioritized: Ghebreyesus
Reiterating that vaccination offers long-lasting immunity against severe and deadly COVID-19, the WHO Chief said the priority now must be to vaccinate those who have received no doses and protection. Instead of Moderna and Pfizer prioritizing the supply of vaccines as boosters to countries whose populations have relatively high coverage, we need them to supply to countries that have low vaccine coverage, he said.