He expressed concern about the confusion, complacency and inconsistency of public health measures.

Even though more than 780 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered worldwide, the pandemic is “far from over,” but it can be brought under control in a matter of months thanks to proven public health measures, a said the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The coronavirus, which first appeared in central China’s Wuhan city in December 2019, has infected more than 136,500,400 people and killed more than 2,944,500 people across the world.

“In January and February, the world experienced six straight weeks of declining cases. We have now seen seven consecutive weeks of increased cases and four weeks of increased 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 a sharp increase in cases, ”said WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus.

Vaccines alone are not enough to ward off COVID-19

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, he said that while more than 780 million doses of vaccine have now been administered worldwide, vaccines are a powerful tool, but not the only one.

“Physical distancing works. The masks work. Hand hygiene works. The ventilation works. Surveillance, testing, contact tracing, isolation, supportive quarantine and compassionate care – they all work to stop infections and save lives, ”he added.

More than 780 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered worldwide. | Deposit

He expressed concern that confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health measures and their application lead to transmission and cost lives. Warning that the disease is not the flu, he said young and healthy people had died from the coronavirus.

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“And we still don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of the infection for those who survive. Some people seem to take the approach that if they are relatively young it doesn’t matter if they contract COVID-19, ‘warning that the pandemic is far from over, Mr Ghebreyesus said the world had many reasons to be optimistic. .

Fight against COVID-19 still ongoing

“The drop in cases and deaths in the first two months of the year shows that this virus and its variants can be stopped,” he said.

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 said, adding that“ whether we do it or not, it depends on decisions and decisions. actions that governments and individuals take. everyday. The choice is ours. “

Read also: Increase vaccine production

The senior WHO official noted that currently global manufacturing is insufficient to provide timely and fair vaccines and other essential health products. Mr. Ghebreyesus stressed the importance of investing in “sustainable and secure domestic manufacturing capabilities and national regulatory authorities”, saying “what can be done today must be done today”.

Noting that WHO and partners have set up a COVAX manufacturing working group, to increase supply and build a sustainable vaccine manufacturing platform, he said technical assistance from the United Nations agency was available to assess the feasibility of local production and access technology and know-how.