Global Covid-19 cases and deaths have gone down by more than 90 percent, a development described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as ”a very welcome trend.”
Briefing the media this week WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the global decline in reported COVID-19 cases and deaths was continuing.
“Reported cases and deaths have now both fallen more than 90% from their peaks earlier this year,” said Ghebreyesus.
“This is a very welcome trend. Still, more than 3 million cases were reported to WHO last week – and because many countries have reduced surveillance and testing, we know this number is under-reported. And 8737 deaths were reported – 8737 deaths too many.”
The WHO chief was however quick to say there were no acceptable levels of death
“We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to these numbers,” he said.
“There is no acceptable level of deaths from COVID-19 when we have the tools to prevent, detect and treat this disease. Many of us who live in high-income countries have easy access to these tools. We now take them for granted. But for many people around the world, these tools remain scarce commodities.”
Dr. Ghebreyesus said it is now more than two years since WHO and its partners launched the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP.)
“C-TAP was proposed by former President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica, to promote voluntary mechanisms to share intellectual property, know-how, and data,” he said
“The licenses C-TAP has received, for tests, vaccines and therapeutics, are making a real difference, and show that this innovative mechanism can work. However, the licenses we have received are too few, and only from government research institutes. Manufacturers have not contributed to a single license.”
He added: “This highlights why the world needs a more effective mechanism for sharing licenses in an emergency, and why governments that fund so much research must retain licensing rights for products that are needed in emergency situations.”