Public/Global Health

WHO chief: World at ‘critical juncture’ in pandemic

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday encouraged countries to work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that “we are at a critical juncture.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third year and we are at a critical juncture,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference, Reuters reports

“We must work together to bring the acute phase of this pandemic to an end. We cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect,” he added, noting that the tools to bring this phase of the pandemic to an end are available.

Tedros was accompanied by Germany’s development minister, Svenja Schulze, at the press conference and noted that Germany was the WHO’s largest donor. The U.S. has previously been the largest financial contributor to the organization, Reuters noted. 

Schulze added that the top priority of Germany is a “massively accelerated, truly global vaccination campaign.”

These remarks come as the WHO Executive Board will meet in Geneva this week to discuss important aspects about the organization’s future including Tedros’s bid for a second term as well as efforts to make the WHO more financially independent, the news service added.

Last week, the agency said COVID-19 cases across six WHO regions grew by 20 percent, marking a slowdown from previous weeks. 

However, the WHO warned that “despite a slowdown of the increase in case incidence at the global level, all regions reported an increase in the incidence of weekly cases with the exception of the African Region, which reported a 27 percent decrease.”

Public/Global Health