The variant’s spread, along with increased social mobility and the inconsistent use of proven public health measures, is driving an increase in both case numbers and deaths, the head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (World Health Organization) said on Wednesday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the recent data in an address to the Emergency Committee on COVID-19, established under the International Health Regulations (IHR), a treaty that guides global response to public health risks.
Recalling the sustained decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths that was being driven, in recent months, by increasing vaccination rates in Europe and North America, he sounded alarms over the fresh reversal of that positive trend.
“Unfortunately…we are now in the early stages of a third wave”, he said according UN News.
Delta variant dominates
Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of rising cases of COVID-19 globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions.
Deaths are also rising again, after 10 weeks of steady decline.
Meanwhile, said Tedros, the virus is continuing to evolve, resulting in more transmissible variants.
“The Delta variant is now in more than 111 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide, if it isn’t already,” he said.
The spread of the Delta variant – one of the main drivers of the current increase in transmission – is also being fuelled by increased social mobility and the inconsistent use of proven public health and social measures.
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