The world handed the “tragic milestone” of 4 million recorded Covid-19 fatalities on Wednesday, the World Well being Group mentioned, including that the pandemic’s true toll was in all probability larger.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus introduced the landmark had been reached, greater than 18 months because the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019.
“The world is at a dangerous level on this pandemic. Now we have simply handed the tragic milestone of 4 million recorded Covid-19 deaths, which probably underestimates the general toll,” Tedros informed a press convention at WHO headquarters in Geneva.
The UN well being company’s director-general mentioned some international locations with excessive vaccination protection had been now “stress-free as if the pandemic is already over”, dropping public well being measures and planning to roll out booster photographs.
“The world is at a dangerous level on this pandemic.
— World Well being Group (WHO) (@WHO) July 7, 2021
‘Surprising inequity’ in vaccine entry
However he mentioned that far too many international locations everywhere in the world had been seeing sharp spikes in instances and hospitalisation, on account of fast-moving virus variants and a “stunning inequity” in world entry to vaccines.
“That is resulting in an acute scarcity of oxygen, remedies and driving a wave of demise in elements of Africa, Asia and Latin America,” Tedros mentioned.
“Vaccine nationalism, the place a handful of countries have taken the lion’s share, is morally indefensible
“At this stage within the pandemic, the truth that hundreds of thousands of well being and care staff have nonetheless not been vaccinated is abhorrent.”
Tedros mentioned variants had been presently outpacing vaccines as a result of inequitable distribution of obtainable doses, which he mentioned was additionally threatening the worldwide financial restoration from the Covid-19 disaster.
“From an ethical, epidemiological or financial level view, now’s the time for the world to come back collectively to sort out this pandemic collectively.”