The World Health Organization (WHO) director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he’s disappointed that many countries are no longer reporting their COVID data to him.
Ghebreyesus made the comments at a recent press conference.
In the past month, he said only 25% of countries and territories have reported COVID-19 deaths to the WHO – a decline from previous reporting percentages.
“And only 11% have reported hospitalizations and ICU admissions,” he said.
“This doesn’t mean other countries don’t have deaths or hospitalizations — it means they’re not reporting them to WHO.”
Ghebreyesus asked for countries to start reporting data to his organization again.
“The virus continues to circulate in all countries, continues to kill, and it continues to change,” he warned.
The WHO chief further said that while COVID is no longer a global emergency, it’s risk still remains high.
WHO warns about migrating mosquitoes
Subsequently, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead suggested that mass vaccination might be required to combat mosquito-borne illnesses, as the infected insects migrate to new countries due to climate change.
“A lot of this is also about other uses of tools that exist,” she said, “in instances where we have interventions like medical interventions, therapeutics or vaccines depending on the pathogen,” said the WHO’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove.
She added that countries may need to “look at how the changes in climate change and the dynamics of spillover and amplification are changing — and prepare for that.”
WHO wants every country to adopt unified digital health passports
In June, the WHO partnered with the European Union to create a globalized digital vaccine passport system for future pandemics.
At the time, Ghebreyesus said climate change, deforestation and urbanization will worsen future pandemics unless countries take “concerted and coordinated action as one global community.”