World entering vicious circle in tackling coronavirus, says WHO Director-General

GENEVA — The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, warned that the world will not be safe from the danger of the coronavirus, regardless of national vaccination levels, due to absence of control over the virus and its ability to mutate.

Ghebreyesus’s statement came in a speech delivered at the 74th Session of the World Health Assembly on Monday. He warned that mutations that will emerge from countries where the spread of the virus is out of control may result in a return to square one if vaccination efforts aren’t coordinated.

Ghebreyesus explained that the COVAX mechanism concerned with delivering vaccines to low- and middle-income countries does not have enough vaccines. He indicated that some rich countries have monopolized more than 75 % of the total vaccines and called on them to share vaccines with COVAX.

He also urged all countries to support the initiative of India and South Africa, which calls for suspending the intellectual property rights of vaccines to allow for increased production as the global progress against the virus remains fragile.