The head of the World Health Organization revealed that the Covid-19 epidemic caused the disruption of vaccination programs for other diseases, as about 67 million children lost at least one basic vaccine injection between 2019 and 2021.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization announced a 95% decrease in deaths due to Covid since the beginning of the year, but warned that the virus was still present.
“It is encouraging to see this continuous decrease in reported deaths from COVID-19, which has recorded 95% since the beginning of this year,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
“However, some countries are witnessing increases in death rates, and during the past four weeks, 14,000 people have lost their lives due to this disease,” Ghebreyesus added.
“The emergence of the new XBB.1.16 mutant shows that the virus is still mutating, and is still capable of causing new waves,” Ghebreyesus warned.
Maria van Kerkhove, technical director of the World Health Organization’s Emergencies Programme, said the XBB subspecies is now dominant worldwide.
Kerkhov pointed out that these mutants are characterized by growth and the ability to evade the immune system, which means that infected people can catch the virus again despite taking vaccines, and called for increased monitoring through tests, so that “the virus itself can be monitored and an understanding of what all these mutants mean.” “.
Tedros reaffirmed that the World Health Organization still hopes to declare an end to Covid-19 as a health emergency in the world, as the committee that reports to it on the status of the virus is scheduled to meet next month.
“This virus is here to stay, and all countries need to learn how to deal with it along with other infectious diseases,” Ghebreyesus said. Tedros noted that an estimated 1 in 10 cases of infection has caused long-term Covid, which means that hundreds of millions of people will need long-term care.
The head of the World Health Organization also revealed that the Covid-19 epidemic caused the disruption of vaccination programs for other diseases, as about 67 million children lost at least one basic vaccine injection between 2019 and 2021.
Ghebreyesus said that vaccination rates have declined to what they were in 2008, which led to outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, polio and yellow fever. =, calling on all countries to confront “obstacles to vaccination.”