SWITZERLAND, SOUTH KOREA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing but it is not over and warned that the cases are rising in 110 nations.
“This pandemic is changing but it’s not over. Our ability to track the #COVID19 virus is under threat as reporting and genomic sequences are declining meaning it is becoming harder to track Omicron and analyse future emerging variants,” Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
He further added, “COVID19, driven by BA.4 and BA.5 in many places, cases are on the rise in 110 countries, causing overall global cases to increase by 20 per cent and deaths have risen in 3 of the 6 WHO regions even as the global figure remains relatively stable.”
While briefing the media on COVID-19 and other global health issues, Ghebreyesus said that the WHO had called on all countries to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of their population.
He further said that in the past 18 months, more than 12 billion vaccines have been distributed globally.
“With only 58 countries hitting the 70 per cent target, some have said it’s not possible for low-income countries to make it,” he said. Meanwhile, Health officials in South Korea on Wednesday approved the country’s first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years or older, adding another public health tool in the fight against a prolonged pandemic.
In clinical trials involving some 4,000 participants in South Korea and five other countries, SK Bioscience’s two-dose SKYCovione vaccine appeared to be more effective than the broadly used AstraZeneca shots in building immunity against infections, officials at South Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry said.
– THE INDIAN EXPRESS, THE BANGKOK POST