Topic: WHO urges continued mask-wearing, even for vaccinated individuals, as delta variant spreads
Officials with the World Health Organization are urging for continued public health measures — including the wearing of masks for vaccinated individuals — as the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant spreads across the globe.
The variant, first identified in India, is the “most transmissible” of the COVID variants identified thus far, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a media briefing on Friday.
“As some countries ease public health and social measures, we are starting to see increases in transmission around the world,” Tedros said of the variant, seen now in at least 85 countries. “More cases means more hospitalizations, further stretching health workers and health systems, which increases the risk of death.”
Tedros also blamed increased transmission of the delta variant on the inequitable distribution of vaccines in poorer countries, warning that the same thing happened during the AIDS crisis and the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
Speaking of prevention measures specifically, Dr. Mariângela Simão, the WHO assistant director-general for drug access, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, said at Friday’s briefing that continued health measures are still “super important” even among the vaccinated population. Specifically, Simão said people should be wearing masks “consistently,” practicing social distancing, staying in ventilated spaces, washing hands and avoiding crowds.
Topic Discussed: WHO urges continued mask-wearing, even for vaccinated individuals, as delta variant spreads