The World Health Organization said Monday that India and Brazil accounted for more than half of the new COVID-19 infections in the world last week, as the United Nations agency and other groups rush aid to the regions.
The Johns Hopkins COVID Resource Center reports India saw a record number of new cases with 2,612,354 in the week ending Saturday. Brazil saw 414,123 new cases.
During a briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO and its foundation are providing equipment and supplies including oxygen concentrators and mobile field hospitals to India.
They are also providing advice also on how to care for COVID-19 patients at home when a family cannot find a hospital bed.
The WHO chief says they have been working with their regional adjunct, the Pan American Health Organization, to get medicines and assistance to Brazil as well.
Tedros said what is happening in India and Brazil can happen anywhere, unless public health precautions that WHO has been calling for since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, like wearing masks, social distancing, and proper hygiene, are taken. He said, “Vaccines are part of the answer, but they are not the only answer."
The WHO director-general also looked ahead to next month’s G-7 Meeting in Britain and called on the gathering of the world’s economic leaders to help fund a $19 billion shortfall in a WHO program that that delivers COVID-19 treatments to poor nations around the world.
He tweeted, “The G7 countries could mobilize a substantial portion of these funds themselves, and lead a global effort to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination around the world.”
Tedros said the pandemic is a shared threat that can only be overcome with shared solutions.