GENEVA – The World Health Organisation (WHO) says intense Monkeypox transmission continues in the Americas region, although the number of cases globally fell by more than 20 per cent last week.
The WHO said that while most cases in the early stage of the outbreak were in Europe, with a smaller proportion in the Americas, the situation has now reversed.
Currently, less than 40 per cent of reported cases are in Europe and 60 per cent are in the Americas.
There are signs that the outbreak is slowing in Europe where a combination of effective public health measures, behaviour change, and vaccination, are helping to prevent transmission.
“However, in Latin America in particular, insufficient awareness or public health measures are combining with a lack of access to vaccines to fan the flames of the outbreak,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Tedros thanked vaccine manufacturer Bavarian Nordic, which on Wednesday signed an agreement with WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas to support access to its Monkeypox vaccine in Latin America and the Caribbean.
He expressed hope that the development will help to bring the outbreak under control in the region.
Meanwhile, the world has reached the “tragic milestone” of one million coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths so far in 2022
“We cannot say we are learning to live with COVID-19 when one million people have died with COVID-19 this year alone, when we are two-and-a-half years into the pandemic and have all the tools necessary to prevent these deaths,” said Tedros, urging all governments to step up action to vaccinate all health workers, older persons, and others at highest risk, as part of efforts towards inoculating 70 per cent of the global population.
All countries at all income levels must do more to vaccinate those most at risk, to ensure access to life-saving therapeutics, to continue testing and sequencing, and to set tailored, proportionate policies to limit transmission and save lives. This is the best way to drive a truly sustainable recovery,” he said. (CMC)