Covid-19 cases fall for 7th straight week amid spike in Africa

Geneva, Jun 14 (EFE).- The number of new Covid-19 cases worldwide declined for a seventh consecutive week even as infections surged in Africa, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said here Monday.

“This is the longest sequence of weekly declines during the pandemic so far,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference in Geneva.

“The steep increase in Africa is especially concerning because it is the region with the least access to vaccines, diagnostics and oxygen,” the Ethiopian biologist and public health expert said.

Tedros also noted that Covid-19 fatalities are not dropping at the same pace as new infections, with a daily death toll of around 10,000.

“During this press conference alone more than 420 people will die,” he said.

Because the new variants of the coronavirus are more contagious, “the risks have increased for people who are not protected, which are most of the world’s population. Now the virus is moving faster than the global distribution of the vaccines,” the WHO chief said.

Roughly 2 billion vaccines have been administered, far short of the 11 billion needed to inoculate 70 percent of the world’s population and reach herd immunity, Tedros said.

“I welcome the announcement that the G7 countries will donate 870 million vaccine doses primarily through COVAX. This is a big help, but we need more and we need them faster,” he added.

“In G7 countries, high vaccination rates have helped to bring cases and deaths from Covid-19 to near record lows. But most of the countries continue to rely solely on the public health and social measures that have been the backbone of the response to date,” Tedros said. EFE


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