Head of WHO says world faces two-track pandemic

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issues warning as infections rise in Americas, Africa and Western Pacific

A handout photograph taken and released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on May 24, 2021, shows the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivering a speech during the 74th World Health Assembly, at the WHO headquarters, in Geneva. Vaccine sharing, strengthening the WHO and adopting a pandemic treaty were among proposals from world leaders on May 24, 2021 on how to halt the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent future health catastrophes. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / World Health Organisation / Christopher BLACK " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
 / AFP / World Health Organization / Christopher Black / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / World Health Organisation / Christopher BLACK " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The head of the World Health Organisation on Monday warned of a “two-track pandemic”, with deaths among older people declining in countries with higher vaccination rates as infections rise in the Americas, Africa and the Western Pacific.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also warned countries facing outbreaks of new variants such as the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, against lifting Covid-19 restrictions too quickly.

Dr Tedros said it “could be disastrous for those who are not vaccinated”.

With G7 leaders set to meet in Cornwall, England, this week, he intensified his call for wealthy countries to do more to battle inequality in access to coronavirus vaccines.

Dr Tedros repeated his challenge of vaccinating at least 10 per cent of the population in every country by the end of September and 30 per cent by the end of the year.

“To reach these targets, we need an additional 250 million doses by September, and we need 100 million doses just in June and July,” he said before the summit of leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.

“These seven nations have the power to meet these targets. I’m calling on the G7 not just to commit to sharing those, but to commit to sharing them in June and July.”

Dr Tedros said there were “encouraging signs”, including that the number of new Covid-19 cases has declined for six weeks in a row, and deaths from the pandemic have fallen for five straight weeks.

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