The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Monday that COVID-19 cases had dropped for seven weeks straight, but deaths remained considerably high.
During the confirmation, WHO said that this was the longest sequence of weekly decline in COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.
Decline mask sad reality
However, WHO Secretary-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while weekly cases were at their lowest since February, deaths had not been on such a free fall.
“The number of deaths we reported last week was similar to the previous week, and the worldwide decline masks a worrying increase in cases and deaths in many countries,” Dr. Tedros said.
Indeed, the WHO Chief pointed out Africa as the region that saw a rapid rise in cases even as cases declined everywhere else. The continent, Dr. Tedros said, had the least access to vaccines, oxygen supplies for those critically ill and diagnostics, a perfect storm for the continued rise in cases.
Africa critically ill
Indeed, a study by the Lancet Medical Journal found that while Africa had a low mortality rate and fewer cases than most regions, it had the highest mortality rate among critically ill patients. This means that critically ill patients were dying in Africa more than in other areas.
Additionally, WHO said that the new variants had increased transmissions substantially globally.
“That means that the risks have increase for people not protected (from COVID-19) – which is most of the world’s population.”
Calls to G7 countries
Furthermore, Dr. Tedros also spoke on the recently concluded goal by G7 countries to donate 1 billion COVID vaccines.
The WHO Secretary-General welcomed the donation but said that the leading industrialized nations could produce the 11 billion vaccine doses the world needs to end the pandemic.
“…Our shared goal must be to vaccinate at least 70 % of the world population by the time the G7 meets against in Germany next year,” Dr Tedros had said during the G7 Summit.
He said the matter was urgent, stating that communities needed vaccines ‘now, not next year.’