The Delta variant of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
More than 80 percent of coronavirus global cases currently being recorded are linked to the fast-spreading Delta variant, which is also behind Covid-19 fatalities among the unvaccinated populations.
A total of 208 470 375 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed globally, 4 377 979 of which are fatalities.
Briefing the media on Covid-19 Wednesday, WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Delta variant was posing a serious challenge in the fight against the pandemic.
“We do have solutions to the challenges of Delta and current variants. This is why the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan urgently needs an additional $1 billion US dollars. And in addition, under a multiagency funding task, the ACT-Accelerator launched a $7.7 billion US dollar appeal.”
Ghebreyesus said the aim is to rapidly scale up testing, oxygen supplies, treatments, vaccines, protective equipment for health workers and enhance research and development into the next generation of health tools.
“At present, just 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccine supply and low-income countries have vaccinated barely 2 per cent of their people,” he decried.
“I called for a temporary moratorium on boosters to help shift supply to those countries that have not even been able to vaccinate their health workers and at-risk communities and are now experiencing major spikes.”
Last week, WHO brought together 2,000 experts from all around the world and debated the available data on boosters.
“What is clear is that it’s critical to get first shots into arms and protect the most vulnerable before boosters are rolled out,” said Ghebreyesus.
“The divide between the haves and have nots will only grow larger if manufacturers and leaders prioritise booster shots over supply to low- and middle-income countries.
The virus is evolving and it is not in the best interests of leaders just to focus on narrow nationalistic goals when we live in an interconnected world and the virus is mutating quickly.”