COVID-19 pandemic is not over: UN Chief

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United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says it would be a grave mistake to think the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Guterres released a statement to mark the week in which the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic two years ago and after more than 446 million confirmed cases and six million deaths globally.

The UN Secretary-General has called the distribution of vaccines scandalously unequal and a direct failure of policy and budgetary decisions that prioritise wealthy countries over the poor.

Guterres says, while he acknowledged that many parts of the world were bringing the pandemic under control due to the extraordinary rapid development and deployment of vaccines, he also pointed to the three billion people still waiting for their first shot.

The Secretary-General called it a moral indictment and a recipe for more variants, more lockdowns and more sorrow and sacrifice in every country.

He said that despite the numerous other global crises, the world must reach the goal of vaccinating 70% of people in all countries by the middle of this year calling science and solidarity an unbeaten combination towards ending this sad chapter in humanity’s history once and for all.