WHO says pandemic is ‘a long way from over' as worldwide deaths rise

While vaccine rollouts are underway in most countries around the world, the first week of April marked the seventh consecutive week of rising COVID-19 transmission rates around the world.

Video Transcript

MARIA VAN KERKHOVE: Last week we had 4.4 million cases. If you look on our website and you actually look at the epi curve and the trajectory of the pandemic right now, it is growing exponentially. This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic, where we have proven control measures. It is time right now where everyone has to take stock and have a reality check about what we need to be doing.

TEDROS GHEBREYESUS: We have now seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases and four weeks of increasing deaths. Last week was the fourth-highest number of cases in a single week so far.

MARIA VAN KERKHOVE: There was a 9% increase in transmission last week-- seventh consecutive week where we've seen an increase in transmission-- and a 5% increase in deaths. This is not the direction we need to be going, and we really need to be serious about this. It is vaccines, but it's not vaccines only. It's vaccines and, what can you be doing every day. What can you be doing to keep yourself safe and your loved ones safe?

TEDROS GHEBREYESUS: This pandemic is a long way from over. But we have many reasons for optimism. The decline in cases and deaths during the first two months of the year shows that this virus and its variants can be stopped.