|World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the simultaneous circulation of Delta and Omicron variants is driving a dangerous tsunami of Covid-19 cases.
Briefing media yesterday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, the twin threats of the two variants, are now driving up cases to record numbers, leading to spikes in hospitalizations and deaths. Dr. Tedro said, this is and will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers and put health systems on the brink of collapse.
Mr. Tedros reiterated his call for countries to share vaccines more equitably and warned that the emphasis on boosters in richer countries could leave poorer nations short of jabs. He said the WHO was campaigning for every country to hit a target of 70 percent vaccine coverage by the middle of 2022, which would help end the acute phase of the pandemic. He expressed hope that the world would put the worst of the pandemic behind it in 2022.
The warning of WHO Chief comes in the backdrop of US and countries across Europe reporting record new COVID cases. The WHO said, new global cases had risen by 11 percent last week, while the US and France both registered record daily case numbers yesterday.
France reported Europe’s highest ever daily figure for the second day in a row, at 208,000 cases. And the US has reported a record average of 265,427 cases a day over the last week, according to Johns Hopkins.
Denmark, Portugal, the UK, and Australia have all also reported record-breaking figures.
The new variant, first discovered in South Africa has already become dominant in Europe. In the US, Omicron accounts for nearly 73 percent of the cases.