“COVID-19 is not over”, Tedros warns World Health Assembly

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Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus delivered his connection during the kick-off of the yearly World Health Assembly–the decision-making assemblage of WHO comprised of representatives of 194 countries.

Noting that it was the archetypal clip since 2019 that the Assembly could instrumentality spot in-person, helium asked Ministers wherever the satellite stood 2 years into the astir terrible wellness situation successful a century.

“So, is it COVID-19 over? No, it’s astir surely not over. I cognize that’s not the connection you privation to hear, and it’s decidedly not the connection I privation to deliver”, helium highlighted.

He added that though successful galore countries each restrictions person been lifted and beingness looks overmuch similar it did earlier the pandemic, reported cases are expanding successful astir 70 countries successful each regions.

“…And this successful a satellite successful which investigating rates person plummeted”, helium added.

Tedros warned that reported deaths are besides rising successful Africa, the continent with the lowest vaccination coverage.

“This microorganism has amazed america astatine each crook – a tempest that has torn done communities again and again, and we inactive can’t foretell its path, oregon its intensity”, helium emphasised.

Global gaps successful the COVID-19 response

While agreeing that determination is advancement with 60% of the world’s colonisation already vaccinated, Tedros reminded that astir 1 cardinal radical successful lower-income countries stay unvaccinated.

It’s not implicit anyplace until it’s implicit everywhere… Only 57 countries person vaccinated 70% of their colonisation – astir each of them high-income countries”, helium noted.

The WHO main besides warned that expanding transmission means much deaths and much hazard of a caller variant emerging, and the existent diminution of investigating and sequencing means “we are blinding ourselves to the improvement of the virus”.

He pointed retired arsenic good that successful immoderate countries determination is inactive insufficient governmental committedness to rotation retired vaccines, and determination are inactive gaps successful operational and fiscal capacity.

“And successful all, we spot vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation and disinformation”, helium added.

It is imaginable to extremity the pandemic

Tedros said that WHO’s superior absorption present is to enactment countries to crook vaccines into vaccinations arsenic accelerated arsenic possible, but they are inactive seeing supply-side problems for tests and therapeutics with insufficient funds and access.

The pandemic volition not magically disappear. But we tin extremity it. We person the knowledge. We person the tools. Science has fixed america the precocious hand”, helium said, calling connected countries to enactment unneurotic to scope 70% of vaccination coverage.

A parent  receives her 2nd  dose of the COVID-19 vaccination astatine  a wellness  centre successful  Obassin, Burkina Faso.

© UNICEF/Frank Dejongh

A parent receives her 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccination astatine a wellness centre successful Obassin, Burkina Faso.

Other priorities of the World Health Assembly

The Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly is being held successful Geneva, Switzerland, connected 22-28 May 2022. It is the archetypal in-person Health Assembly since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, state delegates marque decisions connected wellness goals and strategies that volition usher nationalist wellness enactment and the enactment of the WHO Secretariat to determination the satellite towards amended wellness and well-being for all.

The taxable of this year’s Assembly is Health for peace, bid for health.

“As we speak, our colleagues astir the satellite are responding to outbreaks of Ebola successful DRC, monkeypox and hepatitis of chartless cause, and analyzable humanitarian crises successful Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine and Yemen.

We look a formidable convergence of disease, drought, famine and war, fuelled by clime change, inequity and geopolitical rivalry”, Tedros told Ministers.

Global Health Leaders Awards

The WHO Director-General besides announced connected Sunday six awards to admit outstanding publication to advancing planetary health, demonstrated enactment and committedness to determination wellness issues.

The winners see British-Lebanese psychiatrist Dr Ahmed Hankir, younker sports advocator Ms Ludmila Sofia Oliveira Varela, and polio workers successful Afghanistan.

You tin find much accusation astir this year's winners here

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