Home / News / World /  A grave mistake to think…: What UN chief said on current state of COVID-19 pandemic

It would be a "grave mistake" to think the crisis (COVID-19 pandemic) is over, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asserted on Wednesday voicing concern that even though the virus has killed over six million people over the last 2 years,  three billion people are still waiting for their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Two years ago, the lives of people around the globe were upended by a virus. COVID-19 spread quickly and relentlessly into every corner of the world — shutting down economies, choking off transportation networks and supply chains, closing schools, separating people from their loved ones, and plunging millions of people into poverty," Guterres said in his message on two years of the pandemic.

"But it would be a grave mistake to think the pandemic is over," he said.

In the last 2 years, over 446 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide and more than 6 million people have died, he said adding, “with countless more grappling with worsening mental health"

Unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

He also pointed out that there is a “scandalously unequal" distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. "Manufacturers are producing 1.5 billion doses per month, but nearly three billion people are still waiting for their first shot," he said, adding that this failure is the direct result of policy and budgetary decisions that prioritise the health of people in wealthy countries over the health of people in poor countries.

"This is a moral indictment of our world. It is also a recipe for more variants, more lockdowns and more sorrow and sacrifice in every country. Our world cannot afford a two-tier recovery from COVID-19," he said.

"Science and solidarity have proven to be an unbeatable combination. We must re-dedicate ourselves to ending this pandemic for all people and all countries, and closing this sad chapter in humanity’s history, once and for all," he said.

As global crises, particularly the Russia-Ukraine war, continue unabated amid the pandemic, Guterres said nations must keep their eyes on the target of vaccinating their populations.

"Despite the numerous other global crises, we must reach our goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of people in all countries by the middle of this year," he said.

 

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