The World Health Organization has on Wednesday announced that the world has just passed the tragic milestone of 4 million recorded COVID-19 deaths, which likely underestimates the overall toll.
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom said, “Some countries with high vaccination coverage are now planning to rollout booster shots in the coming months and are dropping public health social measures and relaxing as though the pandemic is already over.”
“However, compounded by fast moving variants and shocking inequity in vaccination, far too many countries in every region of the world are seeing sharp spikes in cases and hospitalization.” He added.
The DG said that this is leading to an acute shortage of oxygen, treatments and driving a wave of death in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“Vaccine nationalism, where a handful of nations have taken the lion’s share, is morally indefensible and an ineffective public health strategy against a respiratory virus that is mutating quickly and becoming increasingly effective at moving from human-to-human.”
“At this stage in the pandemic, the fact that millions of health and care workers have still not been vaccinated is abhorrent.” Dr. Tedros said.
According to the DG, variants are currently winning the race against vaccines because of inequitable vaccine production and distribution, which also threatens the global economic recovery.
“It didn’t have to be this way and it doesn’t have to be this way going forward. From a moral, epidemiological or economic point view, now is the time for the world to come together to tackle this pandemic collectively.”