Healthcare workers listen as Chief of Staff Doctor Joseph Varon talks to them in the Covid-19 ward at UMMC in Houston, Texas. AFP
Gulf Today Report
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned on Friday the roll-out of vaccines to fight the pandemic will not by itself eliminate the deadly coronavirus.
The WHO warned against complacency and what it said was an erroneous belief that because vaccines are on the near-horizon, the crisis is over.
"Vaccines do not equal zero Covid," WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual news conference.
“Vaccination will add a major, major, powerful tool to the tool kit that we have. But by themselves, they will not do the job.”
Britain on Wednesday became the first Western country to approve a vaccine for general use, piling pressure on other countries to follow suit swiftly.
This photos shows a vial reading "Vaccine Covid-19" and a syringe next to the Pfizer logo. File photo
Bahrain announced on Friday that it had approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, becoming the second country after Britain to green-light the drug.
"The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will add a further important layer to the kingdom's national COVID-19 response," said Mariam Al Jalahma, CEO of the National Health Regulatory Authority, according to a statement carried by the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
The word of caution comes as the United States clocked a record number of Covid-19 cases for a second day in a row, with the country preparing for what US President-elect Joe Biden has called a “dark winter.”
America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended “universal face mask use” indoors and Biden said he would scale down his January inauguration ceremony to mitigate the virus risk.
It comes as countries prepare for the approval and rollout of several vaccines that have proven effective in trials.
The WHO however warned against vaccine complacency on Friday and what it said was an erroneous belief that the Covid-19 crisis is over with jabs on the horizon.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said progress on vaccines signaled “light at the end of the tunnel.”
But he cautioned against the “growing perception that the pandemic is over” with the virus still spreading fast, putting enormous pressure on hospitals and health care workers.
The World Health Organisation, (WHO) should play a proactive role, in providing clear guidelines for the approval and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. China and Russia were among the first nations to announce the discovery
Nothing is to be believed about China. The news that it will vaccinate a city of 300,000 people is also perplexing. What have the population been up to all this while, while the world is creaking under the weight of the pandemic? (“China aims to vaccinate entire city in 5 days after outbreak”, April 2, Gulf Today).
The row came as Italy prepared the next stage of its gradual easing of a national lockdown imposed three months ago to fight the spread of the deadly virus.
This came in a phone call Sheikh Mohamed received on Wednesday from the Syrian president where they also discussed the ongoing developments in Syria and the Middle East in addition to issues of regional and international interest.
Beijing has maintained a relentless zero-Covid approach with strict border closures and targeted lockdowns, even as other countries tentatively try to ease restrictions.
The pony-tailed senior Khan sporting dark shades and a black facemask over a grey half-sleeved T-shirt was virtually mobbed by the paparazzi and the hordes of policemen as he entered the menacing barred gates of the ARCJ in the congested south Mumbai.