The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, has raised concerns over increasing cases of deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe.
He noted that the increasing figures were being recorded despite that 780 million doses of vaccine been administered globally.
Ghebreyesus spoke at a media briefing on COVID-19 on Monday.
He noted that the increasing figures were being recorded after the world recorded declining cases in January and February.
While describing vaccines as a vital and powerful tool, he said they were not the only tool to curtail the further spread of the virus.
The WHO DG said, “In January and February, the world saw six consecutive weeks of declining cases.
“We have now seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases, and four weeks of increasing deaths.
“Last week was the fourth-highest number of cases in a single week so far.
“Several countries in Asia and the Middle East have seen large increases in cases.
“This is despite the fact that more than 780 million doses of vaccine have now been administered globally.
“Make no mistake, vaccines are a vital and powerful tool. But they are not the only tool. We say this day after day, week after week. And we will keep saying it.
“Physical distancing works. Masks work. Hand hygiene works. Ventilation works. Surveillance, testing, contact tracing, isolation, supportive quarantine, and compassionate care – they all work to stop infections and save lives.”
Ghebreyesus noted that confusion, complacency, and inconsistency in public health measures and their application are driving transmission and costing lives.
He said it would take a consistent, coordinated, and comprehensive approach to stem the tide.
He added, “So many countries around the world have shown that this virus can be stopped and contained with proven public health measures and strong systems that respond rapidly and consistently.
“As a result, many of those countries have gained control over COVID-19, and their people are now able to enjoy sporting events, concerts, restaurants, and seeing their family and friends safely.
“WHO does not want endless lockdowns. The countries that have done best have taken a tailored, measured, agile and evidence-based combination of measures.
“We too want to see societies and economies reopening, and travel and trade resuming.
“But right now, intensive care units in many countries are overflowing and people are dying – and it is totally avoidable.
“In some countries, despite continuing transmission, restaurants and nightclubs are full, markets are open and crowded with few people taking precautions.
“Some people appear to be taking the approach that if they are relatively young, it doesn’t matter if they get COVID-19.”
While regretting that young and healthy people have died, the WHO DG said the world still doesn’t fully understand the long-term consequences of infection for those who survive.