Global deaths from the coronavirus fell by 20 percent last week compared with the week before, the World Health Organization said yesterday— part of a wider trend that also includes a decline in cases worldwide.
In another significant development, Ghana yesterday received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
According to the WHO, nearly 66,000 global deaths from coronavirus-related complications were reported last week — the third straight week that the figure has fallen. The number of new cases also dropped for the sixth consecutive week, falling by 11 percent, the agency said.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 112 million since the start of the pandemic; more than 2.4 million deaths have been reported worldwide.
Covax, led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), said it would deliver two billion doses to its members by the end of the year.
Unicef said the 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the Serum Institute of India are part of an initial tranche of deliveries "headed to several low and middle-income countries."
Meanwhile, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen yesterday insisted that new problems dogging the supply of AstraZeneca's vaccines can be resolved, after the group admitted it could deliver only half the expected amount to the bloc in the second quarter.
"The vaccine manufacturers are our partners in this pandemic and they have also never faced such a challenge," she told the German regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine.