Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an urgent call for US$7.7 billion in funding for tests, treatments and COVID-19 vaccines.
At the same time, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus told a media briefing on Friday that there is also need for additional financing for COVAX.
He noted that the highly-transmissible Delta variant has now been detected in at least 132 countries, and the requested funds to fight the surge "is a tiny portion of the amount governments are spending to deal with COVID-19."
"The question is not whether the world can afford to make these investments, it's whether it can afford not to," he warned.
The WHO said global COVID-19 cases are set to hit 200 million in another two weeks. Dr. Tedros noted that the number of active infections have doubled in the last four weeks.
"Almost 4 million cases were reported to WHO last week, and on current trends, we expect the total number of cases to pass 200 million within the next two weeks and we know that is an underestimate," he suggested.