Global Covid cases on track to add 100 million by early next year

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ACEH, INDONESIA – JUNE 6: Rohingya refugees line up to receive a coronavirus vaccine on June 6, 2021 at makeshift accommodation on Idaman Island, Aceh Province, Indonesia. A total of 81 Rohingya refugees, including children, were found by local residents stranded after the ship was damaged. (Photo by Khalis Surry / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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The World Health Organization warns that global Covid cases could exceed 300 million by early next year if the pandemic continues in its current direction, and urges world leaders to slow the spread by giving poorer countries more Provides test items, treatments and vaccines.

The forecast came just a week after the WHO reported 200 million Covid cases worldwide and six months after the globe topped 100 million cases, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing on Wednesday. With four worrying variants on WHO’s radar – including the soaring, highly transmissible Delta variant – Tedros said the total number of unreported Covid cases makes the actual number “much higher” than reported.

“Whether we reach 300 million and how quickly we get there depends on all of us,” said Tedros.

WHO officials on Tuesday expressed an urgent need for $ 7.7 billion to support the distribution of vaccines, oxygen and medical supplies in low-income countries. Tedros reiterated its call for supplies Wednesday, calling for well-trained health workers and improved treatment options for patients “at all ends of the clinical spectrum, from mild to severe.”

“We’re all there together,” he said. “But the world is not like that.”

Last week the WHO announced a moratorium on the booster of Covid vaccines and urged wealthy countries to stop using their extra doses so that developing countries could get a majority of the vaccinations. Tedros had previously set a goal of vaccinating 10% of the world’s population by the end of September and 40% of the world’s population by December.

WHO estimates that less than 2% of the African population is fully vaccinated, and some nations on the continent have yet to start vaccinating. By comparison, more than half of the US population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.