WHO chief says pandemic 'far from over', worried about children
Tedros Ghebreyesus added that shortages of vaccines against other diseases were being reported in 21 countries as a result of border restrictions linked to the pandemic, citing the GAVI global vaccine alliance.
Geneva: The head of the World Health Organisation warned on Monday that the new coronavirus pandemic was far from over and said that he was "deeply concerned" about the impact of the disruption of normal health services, especially on children.
"The pandemic is far from over," said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that the body was concerned about increasing trends in Africa, eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries. "We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do," he said.
The UN agency is concerned about rising numbers of cases and deaths in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries, even as the numbers flatten or decline in some wealthier nations.
He added that shortages of vaccines against other diseases were being reported in 21 countries as a result of border restrictions linked to the pandemic, citing the GAVI global vaccine alliance.
"The number of malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa could double," he said. "That doesn't have to happen, we are working with countries to support them."
Tedros expressed concern that the health of children was being threatened by the impact of the coronavirus emergency on vaccination programmes for other diseases.
"Children may be at relatively low risk from severe disease and death from COVID-19 - the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus - but can be at high risk from other diseases that can be prevented with vaccines," said Tedros.
Globally, 30,62,054 people have been infected by corona and 2,11,433 people have died from the disease so far. The countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic – Italy, Spain, Germany, the US, China, New Zealand, Norway, Germany, etc – have either ended or will soon end their stringent lockdowns. The number of cases so far: US (10,10,123), Spain (2,29,422), Italy (1,99,414), France (1,65,842) and Germany (1,58,758).