Covid crisis to loom large

WHO senior official says pandemic is going to go on for a year longer than it needs to

By: News Desk      Published: 11:34 PM, 21 Oct, 2021
Covid crisis to loom large

The World Health Organization has warned that coronavirus is not going away for more than a year, reported 24NewsHD TV on Thursday.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a senior WHO official, said the Covid-19 crisis could easily be overcome by the end of 2022. The pandemic will go on for a year longer than it needs to because poorer countries are not getting the vaccines they need, Dr Bruce Aylward.

Less than 5% of Africa's population have been vaccinated, compared to 40% on most other continents.

According to BBC, the UK delivered more than 10 million vaccines to countries in need. It has pledged a total of 100 million.  The vast majority of Covid vaccines overall have been used in high-income or upper-middle-income countries. Africa accounts for just 2.6% of doses administered globally.

The group of charities, which includes Oxfam and UNAIDS also criticised Canada and the UK for procuring vaccines for their own populations via Covax, the UN-backed global programme to distribute vaccines fairly.

Dr Aylward appealed to wealthy countries to give up their places in the queue for vaccines in order that pharmaceutical companies can prioritise the lowest-income countries instead.

He said wealthy countries needed to stocktake where they were with their donation commitments made at summits such as the G7 meeting in St Ives this summer.

"I can tell you we're not on track," he said. "We really need to speed it up or you know what? This pandemic is going to go on for a year longer than it needs to."