WHO Chief: COVID-19 ‘most certainly not over’
The World Health Organization’s leader believes the coronavirus pandemic is far from over.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a WHO briefing that while general COVID-19 numbers are on the decline, that the virus is still a problem.
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The “declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus,” Tedros told officials gathering in Geneva, according to the Associated Press. The WHO chief emphasized that COVID-19 is “most certainly not over” and noted that almost 1 billion people in lower-income countries have yet to receive the vaccine.
Tedros specifically noted that COVID-19 deaths in Africa, where vaccination numbers are low, has seen a significant increase in recent weeks. While vaccine numbers have continued to rise, there is an “insufficient political commitment to roll out vaccines” in some countries while others are experiencing gaps in “operational or financial capacity.”
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“In all, we see vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation and disinformation,” Tedros concluded. “The pandemic will not magically disappear, but we can end it.”
COVID cases have increased by 52% over the last two weeks in the United States. Hospitalizations have also risen 31% over that same time period, according to data released by the New York Times.