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COVID delta variant is most transmissible mutation: WHO chief

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NEW YORK: Director General of the World health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has expressed concern over the Covid-19’s delta variant, which he called “the most transmissible” mutation to date.
Tedros told journalists at a briefing that delta has been identified in at least 85 countries and is “spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations.”
“As some countries ease public health and social measures, we are starting to see increases in transmission around the world”, he said.
A surge in cases translates to more hospitalizations, which continue to stretch healthcare workers and health systems while putting more at risk of death, according to the WHO chief. He acknowledged that new variants are expected, saying “that’s what viruses do, they evolve” and stressed that by preventing transmission, “we can stem the emergence of variants.”
“It’s quite simple: more transmission, more variants. Less transmission, less variants”, Tedros spelled out, upholding that it is even more urgent today to prevent transmission by consistently using public health and social measures along with vaccines.
“This is why WHO has been saying for at least a year that vaccines must be distributed equitably, to protect health workers and the most vulnerable”, he said.
“Globally, WHO has certified teams from 20 countries, who have gone through a rigorous process of quality assurance to ensure they meet internationally agreed standards”, Tedros said, adding that another 87 countries are either in the process of being WHO certified, or are developing quality-assurance systems nationally.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, he said that WHO has helped deploy over 108 international EMTs and experts worldwide.
Last week, WHO and partners published new EMT deployment standards for a range of situations, “from natural disasters to epidemics and conflict situations”, the UN agency chief said.
“This represents a major step forward in ensuring emergency medical teams meet shared standards for quality of care, whether they are deployed nationally or internationally”, he said. – TLTP