COVID-19: WHO chief scientist lists four reasons for pandemic not slowing down

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Jul 10, 2021, 02:13 PM IST

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. Photograph:(Reuters)

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WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said COVID-19 pandemic isn't slowing down. Cases are rising in five of six WHO regions, and mortality rate in Africa has jumped by around 40%.

The deadly coronavirus pandemic isn't slowing down, according to WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan.

Cases are increasing in five of the six WHO regions, and the fatality rate in Africa has increased by over 40%. 

The fast-spreading Delta variant, pandemic fatigue, weakening of safety measures such as physical distance restrictions, and sluggish vaccination rollouts globally are all contributing factors, according to her. 

Also read | COVID-19: 95% may need to be vaccinated to stop Delta variant, warn French scientists

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, WHO's Soumya Swaminathan explained that while vaccination levels in some countries are reducing severe cases and hospitalisations, significant regions of the world face oxygen shortages, a lack of hospital beds, and increased mortality. 

"In the last 24 hours, close to 500,000 new cases have been reported and about 9,300 deaths -- now that’s not a pandemic that’s slowing down," Swaminathan said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned nations this week to be vigilant when reopening borders to avoid jeopardising previous successes.

On July 19, remaining legislative restrictions in England will be lifted, and measures like wearing masks will become a personal choice.

As cases declined, the United States and many of Europe similarly eased restrictions. 

The pandemic death toll reached a grim benchmark, surpassing 4 million reported deaths across the globe.

(With inputs from agencies)