Despite declining infection rates there is no time for the world to relax its fight against the coronavirus, leaders at the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and in the U.S. warned Monday.
UPI reports W.H.O. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking at the World Health Assembly, cautioned against a “monumental error” to presume the danger of coronavirus is over as White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci joined him to declare the world can’t “declare victory prematurely.”
Fauci’s warning against any relaxation reprises a declaration he made in April for the public to get vaccinated and continue wearing masks, as Breitbart News reported.
Now Fauci has the backing of Tedros who conceded the U.N. agency is “very encouraged that cases and deaths are continuing to decline globally,” but it would be “a monumental error for any country to think the danger has passed.”
He urged all member nations to stay alert to the continuing dangers of emerging viral variants and support a new pandemic preparedness treaty, which would improve early warnings on potential global health threats, promote stockpiling and production of pandemic supplies, and “allow for equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatments.”
For his part, Fauci on Monday told the Guardian despite new U.S. cases falling to the lowest levels in 12 months, “We don’t want to declare victory prematurely because we still have a ways to go.
“As long as there is some degree of activity throughout the world, there’s always a danger of variants emerging and diminishing somewhat the effectiveness of our vaccines,” he said.
On Memorial Day in the United States, which marks the traditional start of the summer months, daily new cases had fallen to around 20,000 — half of what they were at the start of the month — as the number of U.S. vaccinations reached nearly 295 million.
Sen. Rand Paul is demanding Dr. Anthony Fauci be held to account and testify under oath about the origins of COVID-19. https://t.co/R2NuENJjVr
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 26, 2021
As of Sunday, there have been 169.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus globally and more than 3.5 million deaths, the W.H.O. reported. More than 1.54 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
Even so, Fauci urged Americans must remain vigilant and wary.
“We cannot abandon public health measures when you still have a degree of viral activity in the broad community in the United States,” he said. “Although we’re down to less than 30,000 infections per day that’s still a lot of infections per day.”
UPI contributed to this story