The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the number of new coronavirus infections globally rose last week for the first time in seven weeks. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the rise in cases is disappointing but not surprising and urged countries not to relax measures to fight the disease. It is too early for countries to rely solely on vaccination programmes and abandon other measures, he said.
The WHO chief noted that Ghana and Ivory Coast became the first countries yesterday to begin vaccinating people with doses supplied by COVAX, the international programme to provide vaccines for poor and middle-income countries. But he also criticised rich countries for hoarding vaccine doses.
WHO technical lead for COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove said, we need to have a stern warning for all of us that this virus will rebound if we let it, and we cannot let it.
WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said the global fight against the coronavirus is in a better state now than it was 10 weeks ago before the roll-outs of vaccines had begun. But it is too early to say the virus is coming under control, he added.