July 3 (IndiaToday) – The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday the world is in “a very dangerous period” of the Covid-19 pandemic after the contagious Delta variant was found in nearly 100 countries.
At a press briefing, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the India-born Delta variant is still evolving and mutating to emerge as the most dominant variant of Covid-19 in many countries.
Suggesting that vaccination would effectively end the acute phase of the pandemic, the WHO chief said, “I have already urged leaders across the world to ensure that by this time next year, 70 per cent of all people in every country are vaccinated.”
“It’s within the collective power of a few countries to step up and ensure that vaccines are shared,” Dr Tedros added, noting that over 3 billion doses of vaccine have already been distributed globally.
However, the inequality in the inoculation process could still be a concern, if not checked at the right time. Of the total Covid-19 jabs administered globally, fewer than two per cent have been in poorer countries.
Even though rich countries like the USA, Britain, France and Canada have pledged to donate 1 billion vaccines, the WHO has estimated over 11 million doses to inoculate the entire world.
Asserting that it’s a threat to everyone on earth when some countries fail to vaccinate their population, Dr Tedros called for a global effort to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September, at least 40 per cent by the end of the year, and at least 70 per cent by the middle of next year.
“Vaccine equity is not just the right thing to do. It’s the best way to control the pandemic and reboot the global economy,” the WHO chief said as he warned that “until we end the pandemic everywhere, we will not end it anywhere.”
(With inputs from agencies)