The novel coronavirus pandemic is at a very dangerous stage at the moment, despite the global community’s successes in fighting it, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.
"While we have progress in controlling the pandemic, it remains in a very dangerous phase," the WHO chief said at a meeting of the ACT Accelerator Facilitation Council.
In the current situation, "the only way out is to support countries in the equitable distribution of PPE [personal protective equipment], tests, treatments and vaccines," he continued.
Ghebreyesus added that states with sufficient instruments to fight the novel coronavirus have already started to ease pandemic-related restrictions. "Meanwhile, countries without access to sufficient supplies are facing waves of hospitalizations and death," he added.
The WHO director general also raised the issue during another event on Tuesday, while attending the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-Level Political Forum. In his address, Ghebreyesus noted "steep epidemic" in African, Asian and American countries.
"In fact, these cases and deaths are largely avoidable," he said, calling upon the global community to "use all the tools at our disposal to prevent transmission." According to Ghebreyesus, the pandemic demonstrated that "relying on a few companies to supply global public goods is limiting and risky."
"We have to learn the lessons of COVID-19," he said, calling upon the global community "to prepare for the next one."
In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
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Since the start of pandemic, 183,934,913 cases have been reported worldwide, while the death toll stands at 3,985,022. The number of cases grew by 326,231 in the past 24 hours, while the number of deaths increased by 6,347.
The international partnership named the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator, was officially launched on April 24 by the WHO, the EU, France, and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates. As the WHO explained, the new initiative "is a unique partnership of many of the world’s international health organizations who have come together to share, and build on, individual expertise to create a powerful global solution that will ensure equity in access to tests, vaccines, treatments across the world with one goal: to reduce the burden of the COVID-19.".