Time to double down — not let up, WHO chief scientist warns as Covid cases rise

The world wants to ramp up efforts to fight Covid-19 — and nations should not let their guard down, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist warned Monday as coronavirus cases around the globe surge.

“We’re at a very risky period,” mentioned Dr. Soumya Swaminathan of the World Health Organization. “We need to double down, this is not the period to let up.”

The WHO final week warned that new Covid-19 cases have been rising around the globe after six consecutive weeks of declines. More than 2.6 million new cases have been reported within the final week of February, up 7% from the week earlier than, in accordance to the well being company.

It added that the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas every noticed will increase of between 6% and 14%.

Though the vaccines are ramping up for us within the nation, we can’t let our guard down.

Julie Morita

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

“This is partly due to lockdown fatigue, you know. It’s due to people … perhaps becoming more casual because they think vaccines are on the way,” Swaminathan informed CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. New variants may additionally play an element, she added.

“We need to … do everything we know that keeps these viruses in control, keep transmission down till we have enough vaccines,” she mentioned, warning that health-care methods might develop into overburdened once more.

“Health workers around the world are exhausted, they’ve been fighting this now for over a year,” she added.

Other well being consultants have additionally expressed that it is not time to get complacent.

Julie Morita, govt vice chairman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, mentioned it is vital to acknowledge that infections, hospitalizations and deaths are nonetheless excessive, even when they’ve fallen from their peaks within the U.S.

“It is still necessary for us to wear our masks, to do the social distancing, to avoid large crowds, while we’re getting vaccinated,” she informed CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.

“Though the vaccines are ramping up for us in the nation, we cannot let our guard down,” she mentioned. “It’s way too early to be relaxing.”

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