Geneva : With a surge in deaths due to coronavirus, World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on said "we cannot pretend it's not there."
"Learning to live with COVID-19 doesn't mean we pretend it's not there. It means we use all the tools we have to protect ourselves, and protect others," Ghebreyesus said in a tweet. There has been a 35 per cent rise in COVID-19-related deaths in four weeks across the world.
Briefing mediapperson on monkeypox, COVID19 and other global health issues, the WHO Chief said, "On COVID-19, over the past four weeks, reported deaths globally have increased by 35 per cent. Just in the past week, 15,000 people around the world lost their lives to COVID-19. This is completely unacceptable when we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives."
He further said that all the people across countries are tired of the virus and pandemic. "But the virus is not tired of us. Omicron remains the dominant variant, with the BA.5 sub-variant representing more than 90 per cent of sequences shared in the last month," Ghebreyesus added.
In a video Ghebreyesus is heard saying, "just in the past week, 15,000 people around the world have lost their lives to Covid-19. 15,000 a week is completely unacceptable when we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives."
"None of us is helpless. Please get vaccinated if you're not, and get a booster (dose) if you need it. Wear a mask when you can't distance (yourself) and try to avoid crowds, especially indoors. there is a lot to talk about learning, to live with this virus but we cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week. We cannot live with mounting hospitalisations. We can't live with inequitable access to vaccines and other tools," he added.
According to WHO, globally, as of August 17, there have been 589,680,368 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,436,519 deaths. The United States has reported a majority of these cases, which is over 9 crore cases. This is followed by India (around 4.4 crore).
Regarding monkeypox, Ghebreyesus said that almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, which is a 20 per cent increase over the previous week.
"More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO, from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths. Almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, a 20 per cent increase over the previous week, which was also 20 per cent more than the week before," he said.
The WHO chief also said that most of the monkeypox cases are being reported from Europe and the Americas -among men who have sex with men.
"Almost all (monkeypox) cases are being reported -- from Europe and the Americas -among men who have sex with men, underscoring the importance for all countries to design and deliver services and info tailored to these communities that protect the health, human rights and dignity," he said.