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The WHO says that “it is too early to claim victory” because the pandemic is not over yet

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that it would be premature to end the coronavirus pandemic and recalled that contagion remains high in many countries and that global vaccination has not reached the minimum required.

“It is too early to claim victory. There are still many countries with low vaccine coverage and there is high transmission.” WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference.

Adhanom considered that some countries are lifting restrictions, but recalled that the threat of a new variant is still “real” and that the only way to end the pandemic is through vaccination.

While 56% of the world’s population has already received the full guideline, when the WHO’s goal is to reach 70% in all states.

“Although Ómicron is less severe, the number of hospitalized and dead is higher than that of Delta, due to its greater volume, the accumulated health burden and because the levels of vaccination coverage are insufficient”, said the head of the Department of Emerging Diseases, Maria Van Kerkhove.

The adviser to the director of the WHO, Bruce Aylward, recalled that the necessary supply exists to achieve the immunization goal, but that its control is “in very few hands”.

”The only way to achieve global security is with a more equitable distribution”, he claimed.

Effects on mental health

The WHO recalled that COVID-19 has also subjected to and that the greatest effects for this have been registered in the areas most affected by the virus.

According to a study by this organization, the number of severe depressions increased by 27.6% during the first year of the pandemic, and the number of cases of anxiety, by 25.6%.

For this reason, the WHO highlights the need for and psychological support when dealing with the coronavirus.

Urgent need for a safe corridor in Ukraine

The appearance of Adhanom and other senior WHO officials was also focused on the situation in Ukraine, and included a call for the “urgent need” to establish a safe corridor in the midst of the war with Russia.

The first shipment of medical equipment, transported from Dubai, will arrive in Poland tomorrow and will include specialized medical equipment that could cover the needs of around 150,000 people, the WHO announced.

Adhamom pointed out that there will be more shipments in the coming days and explained that 5.2 million dollars (4.7 million euros in exchange) have already been withdrawn from the WHO emergency fund, but that another 45 million (40 million euros) for the next three months.

“There is some access to material, but given the evolution of the conflict, we fear a worsening of the situation”, WHO-Ukraine director Jarno Habicht said.

Habicht lamented the impossibility of distributing the medical material stored in the WHO warehouses in Kiev and of medicines and the problems in carrying out the polio vaccination campaign.

The WHO also expressed concern about reports of attacks on hospitals and health personnel, although it admitted that so far only one has been confirmed last week.

”The neutrality of hospitals and staff must be respected and protected. To do otherwise would be a violation of international law.”Adhamom said.

Source: Elcomercio

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