Monkeypox, COVID-19, Tigray, Ukraine… Wednesday’s news

Monkeypox, COVID-19, Tigray, Ukraine… Wednesday’s news

Monkeypox cases in the world have increased by 20% in the last week, while the World Health Organization warns that the poorest countries may run out of scarce vaccines.

More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have already been reported to WHO, from 92 countries and territories, with 12 deaths.

Almost all of the cases are being reported in Europe and America, and almost all of them are in men who have sex with men.

The WHO said it had also been informed of the case of a dog that contracted monkeypox, the first known human-to-animal transmission.

The director of Emergencies of the WHO, Mike Ryan, considered that a single infected animal does not pose a risk, but the possibility that the virus settles in a new species and can evolve in it.

“It is important that we do not allow the virus to establish itself in another animal population. A single exposure or contagion from a particular animal is not unexpected,” Ryan said.

The sequencing of COVID-19 falls by 90% and the WHO warns that it is difficult to know how the virus is mutating

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

A health worker in a laboratory at the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

As for COVID-19, in the last four weeks, deaths recorded worldwide have increased by 35%. The number of sequences shared by governments has fallen by 90% this year, making it very difficult to know how the virus is mutating.

In the last week alone, 15,000 people around the world lost their lives due to COVID-19, something that according to the general director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, is “unacceptable, when we have all the tools to prevent infections and save lives”.

“We are all tired of this virus and the pandemic. But the virus is not tired of us.” he added.

The number of sequences shared per week has dropped by 90% since the beginning of this year, and the number of countries sharing sequences has dropped by 75%, making it more difficult to understand how the virus may be changing.

The WHO warns that as the cold arrives in the northern hemisphere and people spend more time at home, the risks of more intense transmission and hospitalization will only increase.

Tedros suggests that racism is behind the lack of international attention to the Tigray crisis

A displaced woman carrying her baby on her back, in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, Ethiopia.

©UNICEF/ Esiey Leul

A displaced woman carrying her baby on her back, in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, Ethiopia.

The WHO director-general has suggested that racism is behind the lack of international attention to the plight of civilians in Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region.

Tedros said that “nowhere in the world do you see this level of cruelty” with a government that has spent 21 months depriving six million people of access to basic services. Tedros questioned why the situation does not receive the same attention as the Ukraine conflict.

“The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is worse than the one in Ukraine without any exaggeration. I said it many months ago: qPerhaps the reason is the skin color of the people in Tigray. I have not heard a single head of state speak about the Tigray crisis in recent months, especially in the developed world,” said Tedros, who is originally from the region.

The WHO has requested 123.7 million dollars to address health problems resulting from growing malnutrition in the region.

Guterres arrives in Ukraine

The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, arrived today in Lviv, Ukraine, where this Thursday he is scheduled to meet with the President Zelenskiy, and with Turkish President Erdogan.

“The General secretary will be dealing with things like the transfer of ships and grain, concerns about the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, concerns about the fact-finding mission at Olenivka prison, and in general, it is trying to do everything everything possible to reduce tensions, ”explained his spokesman, Farhan Haq.

Guterres will also visit the Black Sea port of Odessa, where grain exports have resumed under a UN-sponsored deal between Russia and Ukraine.

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