WHO chief warns pandemic is a ‘test’ and the world is failing it

21 July 2021, 07:16

The WHO chief made several warnings about the future of the pandemic.
The WHO chief made several warnings about the future of the pandemic. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Covid pandemic is a test and the world is failing it, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Tokyo, ahead of the games.

He said that anyone who believed the pandemic was over because cases had dropped in their country was "living in a fool's paradise".

The expert also predicted that 100,000 people would die between now and the end of the Olympics on 8 August.

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"The pandemic is a test the world is failing," Dr Ghebreyesus said.

"More than four million people have died and more continue to die.

"Already this year, the number of deaths is more than double last year's total.

"In the time it takes me to make these remarks, more than 100 people will lose their lives to COVID-19.

"And by the time the Olympic flame is extinguished on 8 August, more than 100,000 more people will perish."

Drawing attention to the vaccine programme, the WHO head revealed that 75 per cent of shots administered were just in 10 countries - a "horrifying injustice".

"The tragedy of this pandemic is that it could have been under control by now, if vaccines had been allocated more equitably," he said.

It comes as it was revealed that the games could still be cancelled last minute on Friday, due to the continued rise in cases.

The games' chief, Toshiro Muto, said discussions were ongoing because it was impossible to foresee what may happen with Covid-19 infections.

Over 70 people involved in the games have already tested positive, organisers confirmed.