'Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,' Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.
The raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday.
"Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one," Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.
"If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way."
Infections rose above 13 million across the world on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by one million in just five days in a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.