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“We are in the early stages of third wave,” warns WHO amid Delta surge

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As videos and images of carefree and mask-less tourists engulf social media, the onset of the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, amid mounting cases of Delta variant, emerges all across the world, World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.

The rising spread of the Delta variant, owing to inconsistent use of public health guidelines and increased social mobility, is causing a surge in both the number of cases and deaths, he commented, during the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee meeting.

The top medical bodies have expressed concern over the slack attitude of the people and the governments permitting events that may become hot spots of the COVID-19 transmission. Meanwhile, Tedros shared that the virus is continuing to evolve, and deaths multiply again, resulting in more infectious variants. He further added, “Though we observed ten weeks of declines, the Delta variant has now spread across in more than 111 countries, and in no time, we are expecting it to be the most perilous COVID-19 strain circulating globally if it isn’t already.”

In his address, Tedros also highlighted the existence of “shocking disparity” in the worldwide distribution of vaccines and the lack of access to life-saving drugs and equipment. Many underdeveloped and developing countries are still struggling to receive vaccines, and many have not obtained enough. COVAX – a global initiative to accelerate the manufacturing and development of COVID-19 vaccines, directed by WHO along with other international organizations, has distributed only over 100 million doses up until now.

The WHO chief specified that inequality has stirred a two-track pandemic – one, for countries with the most access to vaccines, who are reducing restrictions and reviving their communities, and a second track for those with absolutely no access to vaccines who are spared “at the mercy of the deadly virus”. Drawing attention to the fact that vaccines alone will not end the pandemic, Tedros also called upon countries to persevere a consistent and customized approach to tackle the ongoing healthcare crisis. This involves leveraging and implementing the pre-defined public health and social measures and an all-encompassing risk management approach to huge gatherings.

In the 8th meeting conducted on July 15th, 2021, the WHO also appealed for a push to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of every country by September, 40 percent by December, and 70 percent by mid-2022. The global health agency is also reconsidering options to digitize the International Certificate for Vaccination and Prophylaxis to aid a synchronized tactic for recording vaccination status.

In the days to come, drugs and vaccines will have to compete against the variants, people must stay ever more alert against the infection, and the governments must step forward to counter the new danger successfully.

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