The number of reported coronavirus infections around the world is once again on the rise after six straight weeks of decline, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday.
“This is disappointing, but not surprising,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva, noting that the upward trend was taking place everywhere apart from Africa and the Western Pacific region.
“Some of it appears to be due to relaxing of public health measures, continued circulation of variants and people letting down their guard,” he said.
Tedros again urged the international community not to rely on vaccinations alone, saying basic hygiene rules remain the foundation of pandemic control.
However, he said it is encouraging that vaccine doses for medical personnel in poorer countries are finally taking place, including in the West African countries of Ghana and Ivory Coast.
By the end of May, 237 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine are expected to be ready for distribution in 142 poorer countries.
“It is regrettable that this comes almost three months after some of the wealthiest countries started their vaccination campaigns,” Tedros said.