WHO OFFICIAL: WORLD HAS ‘CHANCE TO END’ WORST OF COVID-19 THIS YEAR
If medicine and vaccine inequities are quickly dealt with, the world has a “chance to end” the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday.
Michael Ryan, the executive director for WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said during a World Economic Forum-hosted panel that the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdown measures and COVID-19-caused deaths, would continue if resources like the vaccine were not equitably distributed by businesses and governments, The Associated Press reported.
However, he noted that “we have a chance to end the public health emergency this year if we do the things that we’ve been talking about.”
Ryan blamed “disruption of our social, economic, political systems” for causing the pandemic hardships faced by many citizens around the world, “not the virus,” according to the news outlet.
“What we need to do is get to low levels of disease incidence with maximum vaccination of our populations, so nobody has to die,” the WHO official said.
WHO officials have slammed wealthier nations for not doing a better job prioritizing providing initial vaccine doses to poorer countries over giving out booster shots to their own citizens.