Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has issued a warning about the likelihood of a new coronavirus strain that is more hazardous than the delta variety.
"The more transmission, the more variants will emerge with the potential to be even more dangerous than the Delta variant that is causing such devastation now," he warned. "And the more variants, the higher the likelihood that one of them will evade vaccines and take us all back to square one."
The emerging coronavirus epidemic, in his view, is a test, and the world community is failing to cope.
"When will this pandemic end, is a question I am frequently asked, and one that the people of the world are also asking. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised a number of issues for us: about ourselves and our planet "During his opening remarks at the 138th International Olympic Committee Session, the official added. "The pandemic is a proving ground. And the entire world is collapsing."
"In the time it takes me to make these remarks, more than 100 people will lose their lives to COVID-19," he concluded. "And by the time the Olympic flame is extinguished on the 8th of August, more than 100 thousand more people will perish."
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that despite having all of the required instruments, the world is still unable to combat the pandemic due to a lack of genuine political commitment.
"The governments of G20 countries, in particular, must show leadership to ensure the urgent scale-up and deployment of the tools needed to save lives," he said. "If they choose to, the world’s leading economies could bring the pandemic under control globally in a matter of months by sharing doses through COVAX, funding the ACT Accelerator, and incentivizing manufacturers to do whatever it takes to scale up production."
According to Ghebreyesus, vaccinating 70% of the population of each country would allow not only to avert the novel coronavirus pandemic but also to restart the world economy.
"Together with the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, I have called for a massive global push to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of every country by September, at least 40 percent by the end of the year, and 70 percent by mid-next year," the official said during his opening remarks at the 138th International Olympic Committee. "If we can reach those targets, we can not only end the pandemic, we can also reboot the global economy."
To attain this aim, he estimates that the globe will require 11 billion doses of vaccinations.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued an appeal to businesses and corporations, stating that they "have a social responsibility."
"The majority of vaccinations were created with public monies. Many businesses have pledged to share doses, but many of those pledges have yet to be fulfilled," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan stated, adding that "with so many lives on the line, profits and patents must come second."
He went on to say, "If nations can mobilize the power of industry for war, why can they not do the same to defeat this common enemy?"