The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, has raised concerns over increasing cases of deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe.
He noted that the increasing figures were being recorded despite 780 million doses of vaccine being administered globally.
Ghebreyesus spoke at a media briefing on COVID-19 said that the new figures came after the world recorded declining cases in January and February.
The WHO DG said, “In January and February, the world saw six consecutive weeks of declining cases.
“We have now seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases, and four weeks of increasing deaths.Last week was the fourth-highest number of cases in a single week so far.
“Several countries in Asia and the Middle East have seen large increases in cases. This is despite the fact that more than 780 million doses of vaccine have now been administered globally.
“Make no mistake; vaccines are a vital and powerful tool. But they are not the only tool. Physical distancing works. Masks work. Hand hygiene works. Ventilation works. Surveillance, testing, contact tracing, isolation, supportive quarantine and compassionate care – they all work to stop infections and save lives.”
Ghebreyesus said it would take a consistent, coordinated and comprehensive approach to stem the tide.
“So many countries around the world have shown that this virus can be stopped and contained with proven public health measures and strong systems that respond rapidly and consistently.
“As a result, many of those countries have gained control over COVID-19, and their people are now able to enjoy sporting events, concerts, restaurants and seeing their family and friends safely.
“In some countries, despite continuing transmission, restaurants and nightclubs are full; markets are open and crowded with few people taking precautions” he added
However, Ghebreyesus said the world had many reasons for optimism stressing that “the decline in cases and deaths during the first two months of the year shows that this virus and its variants can be stopped.
“With a concerted effort to apply public health measures alongside equitable vaccination, we could bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months,” he added.