The World Health Organization’s Dr. Mike Ryan has warned countries against “pushing” to return to “normalcy” too soon.

Dr Ryan, the Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme, says despite the large number of people that have already received their Covid-19 vaccination, infections in European countries will continue to rise, when the basic health- and safety regulations are ignored.

Ryan says relaxing rules – such as the wearing of masks and disregarding social-distancing measures – are a recipe for disaster.

Access the full briefing here.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The Organization says it will now be able to significantly boost its supply of vaccines to the Covax-facility, after green-lighting the use of the vaccine.

The WHO’s prof. Katherine O’Brien says clinical trials have shown that up to 51% of people – vaccinated with Sinovac – developed a less severe form of the virus.

O’Brien says this is the second Chinese vaccine, after Sinopharm, to receive WHO-approval.

Read more here.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is concerned about the sudden increase in Covid-19 infections in sub-Saharan African countries.

The organization warns that many sub-Saharan African countries will see a significant increase in infections as people start spending more time indoors due to the colder winter temperatures.

Director at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Doctor Matshidiso Moeti says 11 African countries, including South Africa, Namibia and Zambia have reported an increase in infections over the last 2 weeks.

Moeti has urged first-world countries to release as many doses of their excess Covid-19 vaccines to help Southern African countries stave off a third wave of infections.

Read more here.

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The World Health Organization has called for an international Pandemic Treaty – to be signed by all its member states – to ensure that future pandemics are better planned for and dealt with.

During its 74th annual World Health Assembly, the WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus said the lack of sharing of information, resources and vaccines has been the driving force behind the renewed spike in Covid-19 infections seen around the World.

Ghebreyesus urged countries to agree to and sign up for such an agreement as soon as possible, to ensure that there is more solidarity and co-operation in fighting future pandemics.

Get more information here.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says an effective and comprehensive global vaccination strategy is vital to ending the Covid-19 pandemic.

He addressed delegates during the 74th World Health Assembly this week and said the pandemic not only laid bare the shortcomings of many healthcare systems but also highlighted the extent to which all countries are connected.

Ramaphosa again called for more vaccine-doses to be made available, as a matter of urgency to ensure that more people, globally, get vaccinated.

He says the pandemic’s negative economic and social effects would, in the long run, be felt in every country across the World.

He also urged vaccine-production to be significantly increased.

Ramaphosa says more robust pandemic response systems globally.

 

The President also boasted on how well South Africa responded to the pandemic over the past year.

He says planning for future pandemics should start now.

Read his full statement here.

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