Covid-19 deaths fell to their lowest level in almost a year last week at nearly 50,000 fatalities, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.
Covid deaths are declining in every region of the world except Europe, but vaccine inequities continue to plague much of the developing world, he added. Tedros said 56 countries have yet to reach the WHO’s goal of vaccinating 10% of their populations against Covid by the end of September.
“It’s still an unacceptably high level, almost 50,000 deaths a week,” Tedros said at a Covid-19 briefing. “And the real number is certainly higher.”
Three countries – Burundi, Eritrea and North Korea – have yet to start distributing vaccines, Tedros said, noting that the majority of the 56 countries with vaccination rates under 10% are in Africa. Half of the 52 African countries with Covid vaccines have fully immunized 2% or less of their populations, according to a WHO report from Sept. 30.