WHO expresses concern about another spike in COVID infections in Eastern Mediterranean

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the organization is concerned about another spike in cases due to variants of concern and increased international travel, combined with low protection of people due to limited vaccination uptake and inadequate adherence to prevention measures.

In a statement on COVID-19 in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region issued Wednesday, Al-Mandhari said “In the Eastern Mediterranean Region today, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise after 2 months of steady decline, and we are once again seeing countries struggling to contain infection and protect their populations, while at the same time keeping their borders open and their economies active.”

“As we continue into the summer months, we are concerned about another spike in cases due to variants of concern and increased international travel, combined with low protection of people due to limited vaccination uptake and inadequate adherence to prevention measures,” Al-Mandhari added.

“Despite all efforts, we are seeing a higher weekly average of new cases and deaths across the Region compared to the same time last year. This is due to several factors,” Al-Mandhari explained.

Firstly, Al-Mandhari noted, the Delta variant has been detected in at least 98 countries around the world, including 13 countries in our Region, and is spreading quickly regardless of vaccination coverage.

It is fuelling current surges in cases and deaths. The Delta variant seems to be spreading faster than the original strain, he pointed out.

The rapid spread of the Delta variant is contributing to an increase in disease transmission both globally and in our Region, the WHO official noted, adding that “Countries should prepare by strengthening surveillance and detection, social measures, and ensuring health systems are able to cope with increasing numbers of moderate and severe cases.”

Source: Jordan News Agency