The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the outbreak of the COVID-19 omicron mutant virus has passed its peak and is declining, but “the pandemic is not over yet.”
According to the Associated Press, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made this remark at the opening speech of the World Health Assembly (WHA) held in Geneva, Switzerland on the 22nd local time.
“It’s not over unless it’s done everywhere in the world,” Ghebreyesus said.
He expressed concern about phenomena such as refusal to test for COVID-19. He said, “The number of confirmed cases is increasing in 70 countries,” and said that this phenomenon is prominent in places where the test rate has plummeted. At the same time, he said, “If you refuse tests, etc., you will not be able to properly grasp the evolution of the virus.”
He also pointed out that low vaccination rates in underdeveloped countries are one of the risk factors.
The worldwide vaccination rate is said to be only 60%. Nearly one billion people in low-income countries have not yet been vaccinated, and 70% of the population has been vaccinated in 57 countries, mostly developed countries, Ghebreyesus said. He also said the death toll is rising in the African continent, which has the lowest vaccination rates in recent years.
“The pandemic will not magically disappear, but it can be ended,” said Ghebreyesus, urging an even supply of vaccines worldwide.
In a recent weekly report from the WHO, the number of confirmed cases has been stabilizing after a few weeks of decline since the end of March.