The State Of The Pandemic

As the world enters a new phase in fighting COVID-19 we think it’s important to bing you WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus most recent assessment on the state of the pandemic.

We’ve presented it here as a podcast. Click to listen.

Last week, new cases of COVID-19 increased for the eighth week in a row, with more than 5.2 million cases reported – the most in a single week so far.

Deaths rose for the fifth straight week, and more than 3 million deaths have now been reported to WHO.

It took 9 months to reach 1 million deaths; 4 months to reach 2 million, and 3 months to reach 3 million.

Big numbers can make us numb. But each one of these deaths is a tragedy for families, communities and nations.

Infections and hospitalizations among people aged 25 to 59 are increasing at an alarming rate, possibly as a result of highly transmissible variants and increased social mixing among younger adults.

Today the Emergency Committee gave me its advice on vaccines, variants, international travel and other issues. Its full statement is available on our website.

We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably.

On Friday, WHO issued an expression of interest for establishing a COVID-19 technology transfer hub for mRNA vaccines, to increase production of those vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.

We are calling for the original manufacturers of mRNA vaccines to contribute their technology and know-how to a central hub, and for manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to express interest in receiving that technology.

We have seen incredible innovation in science; now we need innovation to ensure as many people as possible benefit from that science.

The pandemic will recede. But we will still be left with all the other challenges that we had before, including the climate crisis.