The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has noted the spike in Covid cases in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the media from Geneva, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the situation in India remains a huge concern.
However, he asserted that it’s not only India that has emergency needs.
“Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Egypt are just some of the countries that are dealing with spikes in cases and hospitalizations,” he said.
He said that COVID-19 has already cost more than 3.3 million lives and the second year of the pandemic is on track to be far more deadly than the first.
“Saving lives and livelihoods with a combination of public health measures and vaccination – not one or the other – is the only way out of the pandemic,” he said.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that vaccine supply remains a key challenge, but this week leaders and manufacturers were seen working to address some of these issues.
“First, there have been a number of new country announcements about sharing vaccines with COVAX, which is the fastest way to ensure equitable rollout of vaccines. Second, new deals involving tech-transfer and sharing of know-how between international manufacturers to scale up vaccine production have been announced,” he said.
The WHO chief said that in the past 18 months, major advances have been made in the understanding of modes of transmission, epidemiological trends, clinical management, development of point of care diagnostics, treatments and a large number of vaccines.
He said social and behavioral scientists and ethics experts have also worked to ensure that research was up to the highest ethical standards. (Colombo Gazette)