World Health Organisation

Covid virus may have killed 80k-180k health workers, WHO says

Healthcare workers must be prioritised for vaccines, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, and he criticised unfairness in the distribution of jabs.

The deaths occurred between January 2020 and May of this year.

Earlier, another senior WHO official warned a lack of jabs could see the pandemic continue well into next year.

There are an estimated 135 million healthcare workers globally.

"Data from 119 countries suggest that on average, two in five healthcare workers globally are fully vaccinated," Dr Tedros said.

New WHO group may be last chance to find virus origins

It has nominated 26 experts to join the body, the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (Sago).

More than a year-and-a-half since the virus was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the question of how it first emerged remains unclear.

The team will consider if the virus jumped from animals to humans in Wuhan markets or leaked in a lab accident.

China has strongly refuted the second theory.

WHO warns of 'catastrophic moral failure'

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was not fair for younger, healthy people in richer nations to get injections before vulnerable people in poorer states.

He said over 39 million vaccine doses had been given in 49 richer states - but one poor nation had only 25 doses.

Meanwhile, both the WHO and China were criticised for their Covid response.

An independent panel commissioned by the WHO said the UN public health body should have declared an international emergency earlier, and also rapped China for not taking public health measures sooner.

WHO concerned at ‘growing perception’ COVID pandemic is passing

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists at the regular Geneva briefing that progress on vaccines, in recent days, “gives us all a lift, and we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

He praised the United Kingdom’s emergency authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech rollout which is due to begin next week, describing it as “an important scientific step for the world”.

WHO worried COVID ‘amnesia’ will lead to another pandemic

“I have seen the amnesia that seems to descend upon the world after a traumatic event, and that’s understandable,” Mike Ryan told a briefing in Geneva.

“But if we do this again like we did after SARS, like we did after H5N1, like we did after H1N1 pandemic, if we continue to ignore the realities of what emerging and dangerous pathogens can do to our civilization, then we are likely to experience the same or worse again within our lifetimes,” he said.

WHO reports record one-day rise in Covid cases

Europe reported 96,996 new cases, the highest total for the region ever recorded by the WHO.

Global deaths rose by 5514 to a total of 1.05 million.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on 2 October. The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on 17 April.

As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.

India reported 78,524 new cases, followed by Brazil at 41,906 and the United States with 38,904 new infections, according to the WHO, whose data lags the daily reports by each country.

Two million deaths 'very likely' even with vaccine, WHO warns

Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies head, said the figure could be higher without concerted international action.

Almost one million people have died with Covid-19 worldwide since the disease first emerged in China late last year.

Virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally.

The start of a second surge of coronavirus infections has been seen in many countries in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches.

So far, the US, India and Brazil have confirmed the most cases, recording more than 15 million between them.

WHO reports record global rise in COVID-19 cases

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report on Sunday.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10.

Deaths remained steady at about 5000 a day.

Global coronavirus cases were approaching 13 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 565,000 people in seven months.

WHO reports record daily increase in coronavirus cases

The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to a daily report here Total global cases are over 8.7 million with more than 461,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on 18 June

     

WHO advises to wear masks in public areas

The global body said new information showed they could provide "a barrier for potentially infectious droplets".

Some countries around the world already recommend or mandate the wearing of face coverings in public.

The WHO had previously argued there was not enough evidence to say that healthy people should wear masks.

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead expert on Covid-19, told Reuters news agency the recommendation was for people to wear a "fabric mask - that is, a non-medical mask".