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Actual COVID-19 death toll certainly higher than 1 million: WHO

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Photo | AP)

GENEVA: Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that the actual number of deaths due to COVID-19 is “certainly higher” than 1 million.

Speaking at a high-level UNGA event, Tedros said, “One million people are confirmed to have lost their lives to this new virus. The real number is certainly higher. Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals all over the world.”

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the countries to work together to expand the access to tests and treatments and extend support to the vaccine for “global public good”.

“It is in every country’s national and economic self-interest to work together to massively expand access to tests and treatments and to support a vaccine as a global public good, a people’s vaccine available and affordable for everyone everywhere. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator with its COVAX facility is the vehicle to get us there,” he said.

Guterres emphasised that the ACT Accelerator was the only safe way to reopen the world economy and guarantee that the most successful vaccine reaches all.

“The current financing gap for ACT Accelerator stands at USD 35 billion. That’s less than 1 percent of what G20 governments have already committed to domestic stimulus packages. To put it another way, it’s roughly equivalent to what the world spends on cigarettes every two weeks. Fully financing the ACT Accelerator will help to control the pandemic, restore confidence and stimulate the global recovery,” he added.

As per the latest update by the Johns Hopkins University, as many as 33,706,888 people around the world have tested positive for coronavirus and 1,009,064 deaths have been reported so far.

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