'premature,' 'unrealistic' COVID-19 will end soon

03 Mars, 2021, 08:40 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • World won't vanquish virus this year, says WHO

Ryan said that vaccinating frontline health care workers and those most vulnerable to severe disease would "take the fear... out of the pandemic".

"But I think what we can, if we're smart, finish with the hospitalizations, the deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic", he said.

But Ryan warned against complacency, saying that nothing was guaranteed in an evolving epidemic.

Tedros also noted that for the first time in seven weeks, the number of Covid-19 cases increased last week, after six consecutive weeks of declining numbers.

"Vaccines will help to save lives, but if countries rely exclusively on vaccines, they're making a mistake. Basic public health measures remain the foundation of the response".

"We can't tell individual countries what to do", said Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior World Health Organization advisor.

It was too early for countries to rely exclusively on vaccination programmes and abandon other measures, he said: "If countries rely exclusively on vaccines, they are making a mistake".

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He noted that Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire became the first countries on Monday to begin vaccinating people with doses supplied by COVAX, the worldwide programme to provide vaccines for poor and middle-income countries.

But the director-general asked global communities to cooperate in providing vaccines to countries experiencing delays in supply as the gap is still large.

WHO's director-general, meanwhile, said it was "regrettable" that younger and healthier adults in some rich countries are being vaccinated against the coronavirus before at-risk health workers in developing countries.

The final allocation breakdown for the first wave of Covax doses is to be released on Wednesday.

Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergency expert, said the global fight against the coronavirus was in a better state now than it was 10 weeks ago before the roll-outs of vaccines had begun.

However, as doses become more widespread, "clearly there will need to be considerations around how public health measures... can be adapted", he added.

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