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Covid-19 Pandemic is now in the “Early Stages” of the Third Wave, warned WHO

The Covid-19 disease pandemic is now in the “early stages” of the third wave, warned WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Even as he sounded fresh alarm over a global surge in cases of the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

“Unfortunately…we are now in the early stages of a third wave”, Ghebreyesus said in an address to the emergency committee on Covid-19 established under the International Health Regulations (IHR). A treaty that guides global response to public health risks.

“The Delta variant is now in more than 111 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant Covid-19 strain circulating worldwide if it isn’t already,” a UN report quoted World Health Organization chief Ghebreyesus as saying.

He added that the coronavirus is continuing to evolve and resulting in more transmissible variants.

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Tedros Adhanom, the director-general of the international public health agency, pointed out that Covid-19 cases and deaths were on the decline for a while due to increasing vaccination rates in Europe and North America. But the global trend has now reversed and cases are rising once again.

The last week being the fourth consecutive one which witnessed rising cases in all but one of WHO’s six regions. Deaths are also rising again, after 10 weeks of steady decline, it said.

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Moreover, there is also a “shocking disparity” in the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, Ghebreyesus added. This inequity has resulted in different countries taking separate approaches to battle pandemics, resulting in a ‘two-track pandemic’, per se.

One track is for countries with the greatest access to vaccines, who are lifting restrictions and reopening their societies, and the second track is for those without vaccine access and is left “at the mercy of the virus,” he said.

WHO said that the recent spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus is being to fueled by “increased social mobility” and inconsistency in the use of proven public health and social measures.

Vaccination against Covid-19 is important but that alone will not stop the pandemic, the global health body said. Pointing out that countries need to undertake a “comprehensive risk management approach to mass gatherings”.

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