The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated on Tuesday that the main concern surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic spread was that it was being driven by people that are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, with many of them not being aware that they are infected.
Such asymptomatic cases prove to be an even bigger danger to the vulnerable groups, as the infected young adults will be less likely to follow social distancing rules if they feel no symptoms.
WHO officials said that during this month, the number of younger people made up an even larger amount of the infected people than the previous month, thus leading to vulnerable people being even more at risk, particularly those that are in densely populated areas with weak health systems.
Takeshi Kasai, WHO’s Western Pacific regional director, claimed that the “People in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the spread. Many are unaware they are infected.”
He added that “This increases the risk of spillovers to the more vulnerable”.
After recent surges in cases, plenty of countries have opted to re-impose measures whilst numerous companies race to find a vaccine.
COVID-19 has battered economies all over the world, killing more than 770,000 people and infecting over 22 million people as of August 17.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom claimed that those countries that are opting to put their own interests as their main priority instead of the common good when it comes to the supplies of a possible vaccine are making the situation worse.
Adhanom claimed during a virtual briefing that the right thing to do is to act “strategically and globally”, which “is actually in each country’s national interest”, adding that there must be a way to end “vaccine nationalism”.
There have been surges of the virus in countries where everything seemed to be under control, particularly in Australia and Germany, and also in small nations such as Malta and the Faroe Islands. Malta and the Faroe Islands were praised during the pandemic for their handling of the situation, yet they have both suffered from very large surges in recent weeks.
The virus is also gaining momentum once again in Asia, with Vietnam reporting cases of local transmission after three months without it.
Kasai stated that this is “not simply a resurgence”, but “a signal that we have entered a new phase of pandemic in the Asia-Pacific”.
Whilst there were numerous mutations observed, the WHO still claimed that the virus was still “relatively stable”.
WHO reminded drugmakers that all necessary research and development steps need to be followed when creating and testing a vaccine.
WHO’s technical officer and medicines policy advisor, Socorro Escalante, claimed that the WHO is already in contact with Russia over their approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, which was done earlier this month.
Escalante said that the organisation hopes “to get the response in terms of the evidence of this new vaccine”.