The COVID-19 cases across the world are increasing at an alarming rate with the last four days witnessing the highest number of cases yet, World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asserted on October 12. "We're now seeing an increase in the number of reported cases of COVID-19, especially in Europe and the Americas, Each of the last four days has been the highest number of cases reported so far," he said.
However, the WHO secretary-general also pointed out that some cities had done well and were reporting an increase of hospitalizations. Speaking at the press conference, he said that there were many cories who have “successfully prevented or controlled widespread transmission with proven measures.” As per the latest tally by WHO, a total of 37.4, million cases have been reported to the organisation.
In addition, he also cautioned people about the idea of herd immunity, which referred to the protective barrier achieved through vaccination of a certain percentage of the population rather than exposing them to the disease. "Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to the outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It's scientifically and ethically problematic," Tedros said.
Earlier in the day, Ghebreyesus announced that after a COVID-19 vaccine is developed it will be distributed on the bases of the principles agreed upon by the 'ACT-Accelerator and its partners'. He also said that the aim is to ensure that the initial supply is used 'wisely' and the 'essential and vulnerable population' is protected. The ACT-Accelerator is a global initiative to speed up the development and production of any and all COVID-19 tools & treatments and ensure equitable access.
"When safe and effective #COVID19 vaccines are ready, they will be allocated based on principles agreed by the ACT-Accelerator and its partners, to ensure that essential and vulnerable populations are protected first and that initial supplies are used wisely. #ACTogether," he wrote on Twitter. COVAX Facility was originally launched in April 2020, Ghebreyesus informed that over 170 countries and economies which represent 90% of the world's population have come together for the WHO initiative.
Image credits: AP