by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): “The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the latest COVID-19 briefing from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Ghebreyesus also highlighted some of the ways the virus has been allowed to spread, saying, “The rise is also driven by increased social mixing and mobility, the inconsistent use of public health and social measures and inequitable vaccine use,” as well as the Delta variant.
The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has become the most dominant strain and has spread to at least 132 countries.
“Almost four million cases were reported to WHO last week, and on current trend, we expect the total number of cases to pass 200 million within the next two weeks, and we know that it is an underestimate.”
With the projections from the WHO director-general, he suggested some ways to combat the virus efficiently.
“But we need more. We need stronger surveillance. We need more strategic testing to improve the global understanding of where the virus is, where public health interventions are most needed and to isolate cases and reduce transmission. We need patients to receive earlier clinical care by trained and protected healthcare workers with more oxygen to treat the seriously ill and save lives… we need more research and development to ensure that tests, treatments, vaccines and other tools remain effective against the Delta variant and other emerging variants and of course we need more vaccines.”
There are currently four variants of concern (VOC) for the WHO; Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, with four designated Variants of Interest (VOI), including the Lambda variant identified in St. Kitts and Nevis during the height of the community spread here.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, Delta has been found in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Martinique, St Martin, Guadeloupe, Aruba and Puerto Rico.