WHO says fully vaccinated should wear masks and physically distance as Covid infections surge

4 days ago
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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a quality league organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, astatine the WHO office successful Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020.

Fabrice Coffrini | Pool | Reuters

The World Health Organization is urging the nationalist to signifier Covid mitigation tactics – including masking and distancing – careless of vaccination presumption arsenic cases surge crossed Europe heading into the vacation season.

Some countries and communities person been lured into a "false consciousness of security" that the pandemic's implicit and the vaccinated are afloat protected against Covid, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters during an update Wednesday successful Geneva.

He noted that Covid vaccines "save lives" and little the hazard of terrible illness and death, but the vaccinated tin inactive declaration and dispersed the microorganism arsenic societal mixing returns to pre-pandemic levels.

"Even if you're vaccinated, proceed to instrumentality precautions to forestall becoming infected yourself, and to infecting idiosyncratic other who could die," Tedros said. "That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and gathering others extracurricular if you can, oregon successful a well-ventilated abstraction inside."

Tedros called Europe "the epicenter of the pandemic," with "unsustainable pressure" facing some health-care systems and personnel. Europe represented 67% of the world's full caller Covid cases during the week ended Nov. 21 with much than 2.4 cardinal infections, an 11% summation from the erstwhile 7 days, according to the WHO's astir caller play epidemiological update.

The WHO's bureau covering Europe and Central Asia said Tuesday that those regions person surpassed a combined 1.5 cardinal Covid deaths and could endure 700,000 much fatalities by March 2022. The enactment expects that intensive attraction units successful 49 of the region's 53 countries could acquisition precocious oregon utmost accent implicit the adjacent 4 months.

Governments rolling backmost nationalist wellness measures are fueling Europe's existent outbreak, said Dr. Mike Ryan, enforcement manager of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program.

"In Europe, adjacent successful the midst of a very, precise beardown resurgence successful cases, and adjacent successful the midst of immoderate of those countries nether immense unit successful their wellness systems, we're seeing pre-pandemic levels of societal mixing, gathering and galore different things," Ryan said. "And the world is the microorganism volition proceed to transmit intensely successful that environment."

Though the bulk of reported Covid cases worldwide are successful Europe, Tedros added that "no state oregon portion is retired of the woods" conscionable yet. But expanding vaccination coverage, wearing masks, utilizing distancing, and improving ventilation indoors tin assistance thrust down Covid transmission without resorting to lockdowns heading into the vacation season, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's method pb connected Covid.

Covid infections are besides rising successful the U.S., with much than 95,000 caller cases reported regular connected average, according to information from Johns Hopkins University. More than 1,100 radical are dying a time successful the U.S. from the microorganism connected average, according to Hopkins.

More than 51,000 Americans are presently hospitalized with Covid-19, according to a seven-day mean of Health and Human Services information arsenic of Wednesday, up 7% implicit the past week.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, erstwhile caput of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a Pfizer committee member, told CNBC that much vaccinated radical are contracting the microorganism than radical recognize owed to weak monitoring of breakthrough infections successful the U.S.

"At this constituent I deliberation we request to judge that there's a batch of breakthrough infections happening, peculiarly radical who are retired a important information of clip from their archetypal vaccination," Gottlieb said. "There's going to beryllium retrospective studies that place this, but we're not doing a bully occupation of tracking this successful existent time. And this is the statement for radical to spell retired and get boosters," helium said.

The U.S. cleared Pfizer and Moderna boosters for each adults connected Friday. Johnson & Johnson boosters were cleared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention successful October. The WHO has criticized the wide organisation of boosters successful affluent nations due to the fact that radical successful poorer countries person precise constricted entree to vaccines.

The Netherlands entered a partial lockdown connected Saturday, portion Austria's 4th afloat Covid lockdown began connected Monday, with a nationwide vaccine mandate taking effect Feb. 1. Germany is also weighing whether to present a lockdown arsenic the country's seven-day caller lawsuit mean reached a record-high of much than 53,100 per time connected Tuesday, up 29% from the week before, according to a CNBC analysis of information from Johns Hopkins University.

The White House said the Biden medication has nary plans for a lockdown, pointing to rising vaccination rates and caller therapeutic treatments that are coming online. The U.S. authorities has purchased 10 cardinal courses of Pfizer's Covid attraction pill, Paxlovid, which demonstrated precocious efficacy successful preventing hospitalization during a objective trial.

"We tin curb the dispersed of the microorganism without having to successful immoderate mode unopen down our economy," White House coronavirus effect coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters during a briefing. "We person 82% of radical present with 1 changeable and much and much radical getting vaccinated each week."