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Future virus ‘more deadly’ than Covid-19 will spark new pandemic, WHO chief warns

A virus even more transmissible and fatal than Covid-19 will lead the world into the next pandemic, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, noting the “evolutionary certainty” of such an occurrence.

“Make no mistake, this will not be the last time the world faces the threat of pandemic,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the UN agency’s annual assembly of health ministers from its 194 member states on Monday. “It’s an evolutionary certainty that there will be another virus with the potential to be more transmittable and more deadly than this one.”

On a more positive note, Ghebreyesus said the global number of Covid-19 cases and deaths reported has been decreasing for three consecutive weeks.

But the WHO chief stressed that the world remains “in a fragile situation” and cautioned against any nation assuming it is “out of the woods, no matter its [Covid] vaccination rate.”

He also reiterated his previous calls for governments to donate Covid-19 inoculation doses to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility backed by the WHO and the Gavi vaccine alliance.

So far, the global rollout of Covid jabs has seen more than 75% of all doses administered in just 10 countries, according to WHO data. Ghebreyesus said such “scandalous inequity” is “perpetuating” the pandemic. He has previously referred to the situation as “vaccine apartheid.”

The efficacy of the world’s current crop of Covid-19 vaccines does not appear to be undermined by emerging variants of the virus, such as the strain first detected in India, Ghebreyesus said. But he did warn variants are “changing constantly” and that any future strains could “render our tools ineffective and drag us back to square one.”

Courtesy of rt.com

https://tinyurl.com/ypw7wbmu

Ebola warning: WHO increases risk level to ‘very high’ – world on alert

Ebola Virus

The WHO Africa Region division tweeted as we speak: “So far there have been 18 instances, 9 deaths, 523 contacts, 82 % monitored and 1604 individuals vaccinated.” An outbreak has additionally been recorded within the Democratic Republic of Congo. The WHO has warned international locations neighboring Guinea weren’t ready for outbreaks or for future vaccination campaigns.

However, at current the worst-hit nation of the newest outbreak is Guinea.

It is the primary outbreak of the lethal virus there since a 2013-2016 outbreak, which was thought of the world’s worst.

The 2013-2016 outbreak unfold all through a number of West African international locations.

The lethal pathogen killed hundreds of individuals throughout its final outbreak and the WHO is fearful in regards to the newest resurgence, particularly amid the coronavirus crises.

The WHO’s Regional Emergency Director Abdou Salam Gueye mentioned: “There are six neighboring international locations to Guinea and we carried out an evaluation of readiness.

“Two of the international locations aren’t prepared and one is borderline and there are three international locations kind of prepared.”

The international locations that border Guinea are at the moment not ready to roll-out mass Ebola vaccination programmes.

Mr Gueye added: “Those neighboring international locations agreed on cross-border cooperation and coordination to management the outbreak.”

The nation has the present capability to inoculate 100 individuals per day.

This would be the first time an Ebola vaccine has been distributed within the nation.

Currently, 1604 individuals had been vaccinated in Guinea.

Bachir Kanté, an official on the well being ministry, mentioned: “In the approaching days, we will likely be in a position to vaccinate extra individuals so as to include this pandemic correctly.”

Courtesy of today-india.in

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Coronavirus THIRD WAVE warning: WHO urges urgent action or Europe faces 2021 chaos

Coronavirus

A THIRD wave of the coronavirus could hit Europe early next year if government leaders fail to take action to stem the invisible killer disease, a World Health Organisation (WHO) special COVID-19 envoy has predicted.

The WHO’s David Nabarro issued the gloomy warning, saying a third wave of the coronavirus, which has killed 1.39 million people worldwide, could strike again if governments repeat what he said was a failure to do what was needed to prevent the second wave of infections. He said Europe had “missed an opportunity” to get the first wave and then the second wave under control due to an “incomplete” response to the disease.

In an interview with Swiss newspapers, he said: “They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months after they brought the first wave under the control.

“Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year.”

Europe briefly enjoyed sinking infection rates that are now surging again with countries, including the UK, in nationwide lockdowns to stem the virus.

Germany and France on Saturday saw cases rise by 33,000 combined, Switzerland and Austria have thousands of cases daily, while Turkey reported a record 5,532 new infections.

Mr Nabarro singled out Switzerland’s move to allow skiing – with masks required in gondolas – as other Alpine nations like Austria have shuttered resorts.

He warned Switzerland could reach a “very high level of sicknesses and deaths”.

The WHO expert told the Solothurner Zeitung: “Once the infection rates sink, and they will sink, then we can be as free as we want.

”But right now? Should ski resorts open? Under what conditions?”

Mr Nabarro also lauded the response of Asian countries like South Korea, where infections are now relatively low, adding: “People are fully engaged, they take on behaviours that make it difficult for the virus.

“They keep their distance, wear masks, isolate when they’re sick, wash hands and surfaces. They protect the most endangered groups.”

He said Asia did not relax restrictions prematurely.

Mr Nabarro added: ”You must wait until case numbers are low and stay low. Europe’s reaction was incomplete.”

His shocking warning comes despite hopes for life to go back to normal following news of two new vaccines.

Britain is on track to make COVID-19 vaccines widely available by next spring after the shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca was up to 90 percent effective in trials.

Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford University vaccine group that developed the drug, hailed an “exciting day” and added: “This means we have a vaccine for the world”.

The vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, according to data from late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil. No serious safety events were confirmed, the company said.

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration has signalled it is likely to approve in mid-December the distribution of the vaccine made by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech.

Courtesy of express.co.uk

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Europe on the brink over horrifying ‘resurgence’ of coronavirus cases – latest WHO warning #COVID19 #coronavirus #WHO #pandemic #emergency #Europe

Coronavirus Alert

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) has revealed Europe has seen its first increase in coronavirus infections for months in a horrifying new warning.

In eleven of those countries, the increase could cause problems in the autumn when season flu will also hit. Around 20,000 new cases and 700 deaths are being recorded daily. Regional Director Dr Hans Henri Kluge told a virtual news conference: “For weeks, I have spoken about the risk of resurgence as countries adjust measures.

“In several countries across Europe, this risk has now become a reality – 30 countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks.

“In 11 of these countries, accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again.”

Armenia, Sweden, Moldova, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Kosovo have been identified as those nations.

Dr Kluge praised Poland, Germany, Spain and Israel for their responses to outbreaks.

He said WHO anticipated infections would ease over the rest of the summer.

Though, he added: “But we have indeed to prepare for the fall, when Covid-19 may meet seasonal influenza, pneumonia, other diseases as well, because ultimately the virus is still actively circulating in our communities and there is no effective treatment, no effective vaccine, yet.”

Germany and France, meanwhile have pledged to increase funding to WHO.

Jens Spahn, German Health Minister announced his country planned to give a further £451million this year.

Mr Spahn called for a coordinated response to the crisis: “Isolated national answers to international problems are doomed to fail.”

At the time of writing, Germany has had around 194,000 confirmed cases with 9,011 deaths.

Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute of Virology at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, told the NDR podcast he was fearful of a second wave.

He explained: “I am not optimistic that in a month’s time we will still have such a peaceful situation as we have now in terms of epidemic activity.

“In two months, I think we’re going to have a problem if we don’t turn on all the alarm sensors again now.”

Parts of Germany have reentered lockdown such as Gutersloh in the northwest.

Olivier Veran, French Minister for Solidarity and Health has pledged €50million (£45.2million) in direct funding with an additional €90million (£81.2million) for its Lyon research centre.

Mr Veran said: “I truly believe the world needs, more than ever, a multilateral organisation. I believe the world cannot get rid of partners.”

France has at the time of writing, had 161,000 confirmed cases and 29,752 deaths.

The nation’s top scientific advisors have warned a second wave could be deadlier than the first.

On Sunday, the government scientific council said: “An intensification of the spread of SARS-Cov-2 in the northern hemisphere, in the more or less distant future (around a few months, and especially as winter approaches), is extremely likely.”

France has the fifth highest death toll in the world.

But as the casualties have fallen from the peaks of March and April, the nation has been able to begin to reopen.

Courtesy of express.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y9ejfo4b

Coronavirus: Europe now centre of pandemic – WHO #COVID19 #coronavirus #WHO #Europe #pandemic #quarantine #emergency

Coronavirus Alert_2

Europe is now the world centre for the coronavirus outbreak, according to the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In a press briefing at WHO headquarters, he said that Europe had more cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined apart from China.

Courtesy of theguardian.com