The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will attend a press conference at WHO headquarters on July 3, 2020, organized by the Union of Geneva Correspondents’ Association (ACANU) in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus was organized in Geneva.
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LONDON – The head of the World Health Organization said on Friday an alarming trend of rising Covid cases had caused infections worldwide to reach their highest level since the pandemic began.
“Worldwide cases and deaths continue to rise at a worrying rate,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing on Papua New Guinea and the western Pacific.
“Globally, the number of new cases per week has almost doubled in the past two months. This is approaching the highest infection rate we’ve seen to date during the pandemic,” he continued.
“Some countries that previously avoided widespread transmission are now seeing large increases in infections,” Tedros said, citing Papua New Guinea as an example.
Tedros said the United Nations Department of Health will continue to assess developments in the coronavirus crisis and “adjust advice accordingly”.
According to international health regulations, Tedros said the WHO emergency committee met on Thursday and he expected to receive their advice on Monday.
“Globally, our message to all people in all countries remains the same. We all play a role in ending the pandemic,” he said.
To date, more than 139 million Covid cases have been reported worldwide, with 2.9 million deaths. This is based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11th last year.
Tedros previously said that one of WHO’s top priorities is to increase the ambitions of COVAX, an initiative for equitable access to Covid vaccines around the world, to help all countries end the pandemic.
The COVAX program should deliver nearly 100 million vaccines to people by the end of March, but has only distributed around 38 million doses to date.
WHO hopes the initiative can catch up in the coming months, but condemns what it calls a “shocking imbalance” in the distribution of vaccines between high and low-income countries.
The health department has also criticized countries that, for political or commercial reasons, sought their own vaccine agreements outside the COVAX initiative.
Earlier this year, the WHO’s Tedros warned that the world was on the verge of “catastrophic moral failure” because of vaccine inequality.
He said a “I-first” approach to vaccines would put the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, adding the approach was “self-destructive” as it would encourage hoarding and likely prolong the health crisis.