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Lifting Covid-19 Restrictions Too Quickly Can Be Disastrous for Those Not Vaccinated: WHO Chief

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Image: Reuters)

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Image: Reuters)

We see a two-track pandemic, many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

With the increased global transmission of variants of concern including the Delta variant, lifting restrictions too quickly could be disastrous for those who are not vaccinated, warned World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday.

According to ANI, Tedros said that the number of Covid-19 deaths reported last week increased in three out of WHO’s six regions, Africa, the Americas and the Western Pacific. “We see a two-track pandemic, many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions," he said.

With G-7 leaders set to meet in England later this week, Tedros said they could help meet his target that at least 10% of the populations in every country are vaccinated by the end of September and 30% by year-end.

To reach these targets, we need an additional 250 million doses by September, and we need hundreds of million doses just in June and July, he said, alluding to the summit involving Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

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These seven nations have the power to meet these targets. Im calling on the G-7 not just to commit to sharing those, but to commit to sharing them in June and July.

At a time of continued tight supply of vaccines, Tedros also called on manufacturers to give the first right of refusal on new vaccine volumes to the UN-backed COVAX programme, or to commit half of their volumes to COVAX this year.

“I also call on all manufacturers to give COVAX first right of refusal on new volume of vaccines, or to commit 50 per cent of their volumes to COVAX this year," he added. Tedros also called on companies whose vaccines rely on mRNA technology to share their knowledge with the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool. “We continue to call on companies with mRNA technology to share it through the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool - the result can be a win-win for both the owner of the know-how as well as for public health," he reportedly said.

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first published:June 08, 2021, 12:15 IST