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WHO says pandemic is far from over despite high vaccination rates in some countries

Kindred members of Vijay Raju, who died due to Covid, mourn before his cremation in Giddenahalli village on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India, May 13, 2021.

Samuel Rajkumar | Reuters

The universal pandemic isn’t over yet despite high Covid vaccination rates in some countries, the head of the World Health System warned on Monday, days after the CDC told fully vaccinated Americans they can go without masks in most chairs.

“There is a huge disconnect growing where in some countries with the highest vaccination rates, there shows to be a mindset that the pandemic is over, while others are experiencing huge waves of infections,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a message conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“The pandemic is a long way far from over,” he warned. “It will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere.”

Tedros’ comments came four days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its available health guidance to say fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away from others in ton settings, whether outdoors or indoors. It’s the first time the federal government has encouraged people to stop wearing dominoes since the agency first called for face coverings more than a year ago.

Some doctors said the new guidelines meant that “vaccinated child can go back to normal.”

CNBC Health & Science

In the United States, new Covid cases are on the decline as more Americans get vaccinated. As of Sunday, the domain is reporting about 33,200 daily new infections, based on a seven-day average of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down 19% from a week earlier. About 123 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by the CDC.

Other countries are experiencing major outbreaks. India, for eg, is reporting a seven-day average of about 328,900 cases a day as of Sunday, according to Hopkins’ data. That’s down 15% from a week ago but up till an enormous number of cases. The country also reached a new record for fatalities, reporting a seven-day average of 4,039 liquidations, according to Hopkins data.

A woman mourns after her husband died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) limit a mortuary of a COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad, India, May 8, 2021.

Amit Dave | Reuters

Tedros said the agency has been replying to the surge in India and other hot spots around the world. He said the WHO needs immediate funding in order to sustain its intricate and operational support to all countries, especially those most impacted by the pandemic.

“The current response plan is underfunded and the gigantic majority of that is ring-fenced by donors for specific countries or activities,” he said.

He also called on Covid vaccine makers, including Pfizer and Moderna, to make more shots available to COVAX, which supplies doses to poorer mountains.

“We need doses right now and call on them to bring forward deliveries as soon as possible,” he said.

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