The World Health Organization (WHO) has disclosed that though the globally reported deaths have dropped by 80 per cent since February, last week, one person died of COVID-19 every 44 seconds.
It, therefore, urged countries to ramp up efforts in testing, vaccination, risk communication, community engagement, among other interventions, in order to prevent all avoidable deaths.
Speaking during a virtual press briefing on COVID-19 and Monkeypox, the Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said: “The global decline in reported cases and death is continuing, and this is very encouraging. But there is no guarantee that this trend will persist. The most dangerous thing is to assume they will.
“The number of weekly reported deaths may have dropped by more than 80 per cent since February, but even so, last week, one person died with COVID-19 every 44 seconds.
“Most of those deaths are avoidable. The pandemic is not over. We understand that many governments are dealing with multiple challenges and competing priorities. To support them, WHO will next week publish a set of six short policy briefs outlining the essential actions that all governments can take to reduce transmission and save lives.
“The briefs will contain the essential elements of testing, clinical management, vaccination, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, and managing the infodemic. We hope countries will use these briefs to reassess and readjust their policies to protect those most at risk, treat those who need it and save lives.”
Concerning Monkeypox virus, the WHO Chief said: “We are continuing to see a downward trend in Europe, while the reported cases from the Americas also declined last week. It is hard to draw fair conclusions about the epidemic in that region.
“Some countries in the Americas continue to report increasing number of cases and in some there is likely to be underreporting due to stigma and discrimination or a lack of information for those who need it most. A downward trend can be a most dangerous time if it opens the door to complacency. WHO continues to recommend that all countries persist with a tailored combination of public health measures, testing, research and target vaccinations where vaccines are available.”