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WHO Director General: The Pandemic is Not Over Anywhere”


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organizations (WHO) warns that the pandemic is not over anywhere and still threatens economic recovery.

“My message today is that 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…”

The Director-General made those remarks during his opening address at the July 12 WHO Media briefing on COVID-19.

He further emphasized the inequitable access to vaccines and shared that some countries are already ordering booster shots when there are countries still struggling to get their health workers and vulnerable even one dose of a vaccine.

“The priority now must be to vaccinate those who have received no doses and protection,” said Dr. Ghebreyesus before addressing Moderna and Pfizer directly in relation to the distribution of their supply, “Instead of Moderna and Pfizer prioritizing the supply of vaccines as boosters to countries whose populations have relatively high coverage; we need them to go all out, to channel supply to COVAX, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team and low and middle income countries which have very low vaccine coverage.”

Data tables on the WHO COVID-19 Dashboard suggested that cases and deaths around the world are rising again, especially in the Americas and Europe, after a steady decline observed in May of this year.

Although vaccines have been lauded as a powerful tool to battle against COVID-19, Dr. Ghebreyesus reminds us that “vaccines have never been the way out of this crisis on their own.”

Here at home, St. Kitts and Nevis has resumed its vaccination rollout.  As of July 12, just under 70 percent of the health authorities target, 33,037 people, have received one dose of vaccine and about 58 percent, the second.

Although the lambda variant, first identified in Peru, was the variant present in our Federation and reported as more transmissible, according to the COVID-19 Situation Report No. 473, cases are steadily declining with eight confirmed cases recorded at end of day July 12 and 135 active cases compared to 309 active cases two weeks prior on Monday, June 28.

However, according to Dr. Ghebreyesus, one’s guard must not be dropped as there are four variants of concern (VOCs) and seven variants of interest (VOIs) according to the WHO with more eyes on the Delta variant.

“Delta is now in more than 104 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating world wide.”


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