COVID-19 pandemic at “critical point”, warns WHO

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The COVID-19 pandemic is at a “critical point” and the world needs an urgent “reality check” about how to combat spirally Covid infections, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

In Europe, the deaths from the virus have now surpassed 1 million, with infections continuing to rise exponentially despite widespread efforts aimed at stopping them.

Almost a percentage of 60 of the deaths were in six countries; England, Italy, Russia, France, Germany, and Spain.

“We are in a critical point of the pandemic right now,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19.

“The trajectory of this pandemic is growing… exponentially.

But despite the sombre news in Europe — the world’s worst-hit region — Britain has recently eased curbs for the first time in months allowing Britons to enjoy a taste of freedom with a pint and a haircut.

The changes illustrate how fast-vaccinating countries are leaving other — mostly poorer — nations behind.

In South Africa, the president called for African-made vaccines as the continent lags behind, struggling with inadequate supplies as well as a lack of financing and logistical problems.

Regionally, Cambodia has also seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, with the Southeast Asian nation battling a surge in COVID variant cases traced back to a quarantine breach.

In less than a week, Cambodia has recorded more than 1,000 cases of the virus. That compares with less than 500 cases in the first year of the pandemic and no COVID-19-related deaths reported at all.

The government ordered all residents of Phnom Penh, the capital, and the neighbouring district of Ta Khmau, to stay at home unless they needed to buy food or seek medical treatment.

The lockdown comes in the middle of the Khmer New Year, a three-day national holiday, which began on Wednesday, and usually sees thousands of Cambodians travel to their home provinces to celebrate.

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