The World Health Organisation (WHO) has decried the increase in the number of COVID-19 deaths after 10 weeks of decline.
The WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom, who stated this at a media briefing on COVID-19, held on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, noted that the increase in COVID-19 deaths is evident in five of the six WHO regions.
“Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of COVID-19 globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions. And after 10 weeks of declines, deaths are increasing again,” Adhanom said.
He added that the spike in COVID-19 death and cases can be attributed to the surge of the Delta variant in different countries.
“We continue to hear reports from all regions of the world about hospitals reaching capacity.
“The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and death.
“Not everywhere is taking the same hit though, we’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent.
“In places with high vaccination coverage, Delta is spreading quickly; especially infecting unprotected and vulnerable people and steadily putting pressure back on health systems,” he said.
According to Adhom, aside the Delta variant, other variants and low vaccine coverage also contributes to the increase in COVID-19 cases and death toll.
“As countries lift public health and social measures, they must consider the impact on health workers and health systems.
“In countries with low vaccine coverage, the situation is particularly bad.
“Delta and other highly transmissible variants are driving catastrophic waves of case, which are translating into high numbers of hospitalisations and death.
“Even countries that successfully managed to ward off the early waves of the virus, through public health measures alone, are now in the midst of devastating outbreaks.
“Particularly in low-income countries, exhausted health workers are battling to save lives in the midst of shortages of personal protective equipment, oxygen and treatments.
“Vaccines have never been the way out of this crisis on their own, but this current wave is demonstrating again just what a powerful tool they are to battle back against this virus.
“Delta is now in more than 104 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide.
“The world is watching in real time as the COVID-19 virus continues to change and become more transmissible,” he added.