senior citizens register to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at a New York State vaccination site in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. New York state expanded COVID-19 vaccine distribution Tuesday to people 65 and over, increasing access to an already short supply of doses being distributed. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
As Covid-19 cases spike in parts of Europe, Africa and the Americas, and new variants of the virus emerge in some countries, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for greater global collaboration in ending the pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported on the outcome of the latest meeting of the Emergency Committee on Covid-19, held online on Friday, at his weekly press briefing.
The Committee issued a statement calling for upgrading national capacity for genome sequencing, and greater data sharing, in efforts to monitor and respond to changes in the virus.
“I think we are in a race between the virus, which is going to continue trying to mutate in order to spread more easily, and humanity, which has to try to stop this spreading,” he said.
The Emergency Committee also issued recommendations on international travel.
The statement said countries should not require travellers to show proof of vaccination or immunity at the present time “as there are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission and limited availability of vaccines”.