The World Health Organisation director said that now ‘is not the time for complacency’ despite recent positive developments in coronavirus vaccines.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed a press conference and said that although there is ‘encouraging news’ coming out he is ‘extremely concerned’ about the surge in cases in Europe and the US.
He said: ‘This is not the time for complacency. While we continue to receive encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccines and remain cautiously optimistic about the potential for new tools to arrive in the coming months.
‘Right now we’re extremely concerned by the surge in cases we are seeing in some countries, particularly in Europe and the Americas.
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‘Their health workers and their systems are being pushed to the breaking point. WHO has issued guidance and tools to increase capacity for the medical and public health workforce and supplies and facilities to manage COVID-19 patients.
‘At present WHO has 150 emergency medical teams assisting countries in the planning in the implementation of their emergency responses.
‘WHO and partners are working with governments and health leaders to ensure that there is cover for health workers that are sick.
‘That there are enough beds for COVID-19 patients and for essential services to continue safely.
‘That there are enough masks, gloves and other protective equipment, that governments have access to enough tests, therapeutics and supplies to cope with demand now.
‘And that health systems will be ready when safe and effective vaccines are rolled out.’
The UK has brought five million coronavirus vaccines made by US-led biotech firm Moderna only hours after the company reported a 94.5% effectiveness.
But because the vaccine has to be taken in two shots, it would only vaccinate two-and-a-half-million Brits.
The country has also secured 40 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine which has reported a 90% effectiveness.
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