Covid-19: WHO chief optimistic disease will be beaten in 2022on December 31, 2021 at 3:16 pm

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The organisation ends the year on a positive note but warns about “nationalism and vaccine hoarding”.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) chief says he is optimistic that the coronavirus pandemic will be defeated in 2022, provided countries work together to contain its spread.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu warned against “narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding” in a new year statement.

His comments come two years since the WHO was first notified of cases of an unknown pneumonia strain in China.

Global Covid cases now stand at 287m, while nearly 5.5m people have died.

Across the world people are marking the new year but celebrations are muted, with many countries wanting to discourage crowds gathering.

Coronavirus remains part of daily life: a disease that has shut borders, split families and in some places made it unthinkable to leave the house without carrying a mask.

Despite all this, Dr Tedros sounded a positive note in his speech, noting that there are now many more tools to treat Covid-19.

But he warned that continuing inequity in vaccine distribution was increasing the risk of the virus evolving.

“Narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding by some countries have undermined equity and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of the Omicron variant, and the longer inequity continues, the higher the risks of the virus evolving in ways we can’t prevent or predict,” he said.

“If we end inequity, we end the pandemic,” he added.

In other developments:

  • South Africa, where Omicron was first reported, says it is likely to have passed the peak of its fourth wave of infections, without a significant increase in deaths
  • France has become the latest country to report that Omicron has become the dominant strain there. It has seen two straight days of more than 200,000 cases
  • A German virologist, Christian Drosten, told ZDF television he expects a “relatively normal” winter, pointing to data suggesting that Omicron cases are not as severe
  • Thousands more flights have been cancelled, nearly half of them in the US, as airlines struggle with crew sickness
  • Israel has become one of the first countries in the world to approve a fourth Covid vaccination

In his comments, Dr Tedros also alluded to low vaccination rates.

While most of the population in Europe and the Americas have received at least one dose, a WHO target of full vaccination rates in 40% of every country by the end of 2021 has been missed across most of Africa.

Dr Tedros has previously criticised wealthier nations for “gobbling up” the global vaccine supply, fully vaccinating much of their populations while others wait for their first doses.

The WHO has set a new goal for 2022: vaccinate 70% of people in all countries by July to end the pandemic.


Global vaccine rollout

Scroll table

World
49

9,097,104,632
China
84

2,795,716,000
India
43

1,435,195,841
US
61

506,313,935
Brazil
67

330,718,457
Indonesia
41

271,240,030
Japan
78

199,596,362
Pakistan
30

153,477,237
Mexico
56

148,689,393
Vietnam
57

148,198,862
Germany
70

148,010,358
Russia
46

146,163,749
Bangladesh
27

132,282,376
UK
69

132,121,605
Turkey
61

130,571,857
France
73

122,386,879
Iran
60

116,210,697
Italy
74

109,976,998
Philippines
44

107,277,506
Thailand
65

102,681,943
South Korea
83

102,272,231
Spain
81

86,237,508
Argentina
71

75,644,660
Canada
77

68,084,993
Colombia
55

63,992,507
Malaysia
78

57,305,127
Egypt
20

52,819,190
Saudi Arabia
65

50,477,457
Morocco
62

50,265,580
Peru
63

48,228,055
Poland
56

46,549,512
Chile
86

43,713,928
Australia
76

42,272,089
Uzbekistan
33

38,864,733
Taiwan
66

34,493,865
Sri Lanka
64

33,516,336
Myanmar
24

31,859,036
Cambodia
81

30,336,200
Cuba
85

30,090,996
Venezuela
40

30,049,714
Ukraine
31

28,296,720
South Africa
26

27,850,779
Ecuador
70

27,304,608
Netherlands
71

26,595,765
United Arab Emirates
91

22,406,584
Nepal
33

21,988,516
Belgium
76

21,451,272
Portugal
89

19,229,373
Sweden
73

17,517,091
Kazakhstan
45

17,453,484
Greece
67

17,100,487
Israel
64

16,665,409
Austria
71

16,323,415
Romania
41

15,796,163
Czech Republic
62

15,335,120
Hungary
62

15,074,636
Mozambique
18

14,408,516
Nigeria
2

14,149,682
Iraq
14

14,140,578
Dominican Republic
52

14,057,252
Switzerland
67

13,663,542
Algeria
13

12,545,356
Rwanda
37

12,316,233
Denmark
78

11,993,187
Tunisia
49

11,979,466
Azerbaijan
46

11,286,004
Guatemala
25

11,247,608
Angola
11

11,164,918
Ethiopia
1

10,894,936
Hong Kong
62

9,886,743
Uganda
3

9,763,030
Kenya
7

9,739,482
Norway
72

9,691,822
Honduras
43

9,589,064
Bolivia
38

9,556,929
El Salvador
64

9,553,791
Singapore
87

9,543,800
Ireland
77

9,510,367
Finland
74

9,489,226
Jordan
38

8,265,793
Serbia
47

8,239,799
New Zealand
75

8,143,384
Nicaragua
43

7,785,141
Costa Rica
68

7,756,348
Ghana
7

7,755,231
Belarus
34

7,708,200
Turkmenistan
52

7,580,976
Zimbabwe
21

7,222,341
Uruguay
77

6,959,931
Kuwait
74

6,942,690
Paraguay
41

6,833,614
Tajikistan
28

6,287,345
Slovakia
44

6,073,488
Oman
55

6,046,310
Panama
56

5,869,229
Laos
42

5,830,021
Mongolia
65

5,337,594
Sudan
3

5,251,235
Afghanistan
9

5,228,706
Qatar
76

5,182,058
Ivory Coast
6

4,812,235
Croatia
48

4,684,781
Lebanon
27

4,351,154
Lithuania
68

4,083,697
Bulgaria
28

3,682,460
Palestinian Territories
28

3,315,774
Bahrain
67

3,212,489
Slovenia
57

2,894,044
Guinea
7

2,770,451
Libya
12

2,664,009
Latvia
67

2,542,389
Georgia
29

2,495,435
Tanzania
2

2,431,769
Togo
12

2,377,399
Albania
36

2,316,606
Senegal
5

2,269,383
Kyrgyzstan
15

2,245,084
Botswana
42

2,137,289
Mauritius
71

2,036,896
Mauritania
15

1,843,386
Benin
11

1,773,592
Moldova
24

1,770,434
Malawi
3

1,764,634
Syria
4

1,753,522
North Macedonia
39

1,741,245
Zambia
6

1,669,400
Kosovo
44

1,666,176
Armenia
23

1,626,738
Bosnia and Herzegovina
22

1,553,874
Cyprus
68

1,541,159
Estonia
62

1,515,552
Somalia
5

1,504,914
Trinidad and Tobago
47

1,397,059
Congo
10

1,295,601
Fiji
67

1,267,045
Jamaica
19

1,199,076
Timor-Leste
40

1,195,990
Bhutan
72

1,154,843
Mali
2

1,057,653
Burkina Faso
3

1,053,330
Malta
84

1,052,035
Luxembourg
68

1,045,759
Cameroon
2

986,281
Niger
2

971,636
Macau
70

970,888
Sierra Leone
5

923,880
Liberia
15

880,313
Central African Republic
7

790,782
Brunei
87

790,506
Maldives
68

788,978
Yemen
1

786,027
Guyana
40

764,898
Madagascar
2

742,069
Namibia
13

736,133
Iceland
83

715,062
Lesotho
30

688,097
Montenegro
43

630,634
Cape Verde
46

571,130
Gabon
8

566,021
Comoros
28

527,119
Papua New Guinea
2

504,018
Suriname
38

488,364
Equatorial Guinea
14

452,666
Belize
49

424,634
Guinea-Bissau
1

413,938
Eswatini
26

399,616
Chad
0.4769

366,585
Bahamas
37

300,214
Barbados
50

298,361
DR Congo
0.1147

291,286
Gambia
9

276,276
South Sudan
2

268,640
Samoa
61

263,189
Solomon Islands
8

235,918
Jersey
76

202,739
Haiti
0.6247

194,341
Seychelles
79

183,472
Isle of Man
77

177,242
Vanuatu
16

152,711
Sao Tome and Principe
23

137,612
Djibouti
3

135,032
Cayman Islands
86

130,608
Tonga
53

130,236
Antigua and Barbuda
59

120,786
Andorra
65

115,709
Bermuda
74

112,695
Gibraltar
119

108,149
Guernsey
21

106,109
Saint Lucia
27

104,729
Faroe Islands
83

95,287
Kiribati
19

82,167
Greenland
67

78,500
Grenada
31

78,476
Liechtenstein
67

62,997
St Vincent and the Grenadines
24

61,198
Dominica
38

57,044
Turks and Caicos Islands
69

56,343
Saint Kitts and Nevis
48

54,868
San Marino
64

53,942
Monaco
59

49,980
British Virgin Islands
56

35,799
Cook Islands
71

25,339
Anguilla
61

20,284
Nauru
67

14,863
Tuvalu
49

12,114
Saint Helena
58

7,892
Burundi
0.0288

7,543
Falkland Islands
50

4,407
Montserrat
30

3,020
Niue
71

2,352
Tokelau
71

1,936
Pitcairn
100

94
British Indian Ocean Territory
0

0
Eritrea
0

0
North Korea
0

0
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
0

0
Vatican
0

0

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