COVID-19 incidence is growing in nearly 70 world nations amid the decreasing testing rates, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Sunday and called achieving a vaccination coverage of at least 70%.
"Reported cases are increasing in almost 70 countries in all regions - and this in a world in which testing rates have plummeted," he said in his opening address at the 75th World Health Assembly.
He drew attention to the increasing number of coronavirus deaths in Africa while aggregate "reported deaths are at their lowest since March 2020." "This virus has surprised us at every turn - a storm that has torn through communities again and again, and we still can’t predict its path, or its intensity," he stressed.
He called on countries to "to reach 70% vaccination coverage as soon as possible, including 100% of those aged over 60; 100% of health workers; and 100% of those with underlying conditions."
By now, in his words, only 57 countries have vaccinated 70% of their population, whereas the mean vaccination coverage worldwide is 60% "We call on all countries to be prepared to reintroduce and adjust public health and social measures as necessary," he stressed.
He noted that the vaccine supply situation in the world has improved but some countries demonstrate "insufficient political commitment to roll out vaccines."