Monkeypox outbreak: WHO says primary focus must be to ensure readiness for virus

  • WHO on Wednesday said that with over 35,000 cases of monkeypox as of today, which is a 20% increase from the previous week, the primary focus of all countries must be to ensure that they are ready for stopping its transmission

Livemint
Updated17 Aug 2022, 10:15 PM IST
Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “more than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO, from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths.
Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “more than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO, from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths.(HT_PRINT)

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday said that with over 35,000 cases of monkeypox as of today, which is a 20% increase from the previous week, the primary focus of all countries must be to ensure that they are ready for stopping its transmission. Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “more than 35,000 cases of #monkeypox have now been reported to WHO, from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths. Almost 7,500 cases were reported last week, a 20% increase over the previous week, which was also 20% more than the week before.”

He said that almost all cases are being reported, from Europe and the United States, among men who have sex with men, “underscoring the importance for all countries to design & deliver services & info tailored to these communities that protect health, human rights & dignity.” The WHO Director-General highlighted that at such a time, “the primary focus for all countries must be to ensure they are ready for #monkeypox & stop transmission using effective tools, incl. enhanced disease surveillance, careful contact tracing, tailored risk communication & community engagement, & risk reduction measures.”

Further noting that vaccines may also play an important part in controlling the outbreak, and in many countries there is high demand for vaccines from the affected communities, adding that “however, for the moment, supplies of vaccines, and data about their effectiveness, are limited, although we are starting to receive data from some countries.” The WHO has reportedly been in close contact with the manufacturers of vaccines, and with countries and organizations who are willing to share doses, he said. “However, for the moment, supplies of vaccines, and data about their effectiveness, are limited, although we are starting to receive data from some countries,” he noted.

Meanwhile, discussing the spike in Covid-19 cases, he said, “we remain concerned that the inequitable access to vaccines we saw during the #Covid-19 pandemic will be repeated, and that the poorest will continue to be left behind.” The WHO Director General informed that “learning to live with #Covid-19 does not mean we pretend it’s not there. It means we use the tools we have to protect ourselves, and protect others,” in the wake of Covid-19, over the past four weeks, reporting deaths globally that have increased by 35%. “Just in the past week, 15,000 people around the world lost their lives to Covid-19. This is completely unacceptable, when we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives,” he said.

 

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First Published:17 Aug 2022, 10:15 PM IST
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