The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised alarm on the rising number of death and cases of hospitalisation due to COVID-19 infection in the past few weeks.
Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that COVID-19 deaths are on the rise for the last five weeks with some countries are also witnessing an increasing trend in hospitalizations. “COVID-19 deaths have been increasing for the last five weeks, and several countries are reporting increasing trends in hospitalizations following waves of transmission driven by Omicron subvariants,” he said.
Tedros opined that people must not let their guard down, and said that “although the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, we are now in a very different situation to where we were a year ago, and we have learned a number of important lessons.”
He also laid emphasis over treating vaccination as an elixir to save lives and noted that “even in some countries that have reached 70 per cent vaccination coverage, if significant numbers of health workers, older people and other at-risk groups remain unvaccinated, deaths will continue, health systems will remain under pressure and the global recovery will be at risk.”
Last week, WHO launched an update to the Global COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, emphasising the need to vaccinate the most at-risk groups, including 100 per cent of health and care workers, 100 per cent of older people and 100 per cent of those at highest risk.
The WHO chief urged the world to “strive for the target of 70 per cent vaccination coverage, with a focus on targeted vaccination strategies that prioritize the most vulnerable, which is the most effective way to save lives.”