Middle East is in fourth wave of Covid-19 triggered by Delta variant: WHO
Geneva/IBNS: The Middle East is in the midst of the fourth wave of Covid-19, triggered by the delta variant of coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
The increase in Covid-19 infections and deaths is primarily being reported among people who haven't received Covid-19 vaccine shots.
"The rapid spread of the Delta variant across the Eastern Mediterranean Region and all other WHO regions is a major cause for concern," said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO regional director for the eastern Mediterranean. "We are now in the fourth wave of Covid-19 across the region."
As many as 15 out of 22 countries in the region have reported the presence of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, according to WHO.
The UN health body said most of the fresh Covid-19 cases and hospitalised patients are yet to receive vaccine shots.
The low rate of vaccination in the Middle East together with the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, remains a major cause for concern, it said.
Iraq, Tunisia, Iran and Libya are the nations where the recent surge in Covid-19 cases have been reported in the Middle East, said the public health body of the United Nations (UN).
"Over 310 000 new cases and 3500 deaths have been reported on average on a weekly basis during the last 4 weeks, which is a 55% and 15% increase in the number of cases and deaths, respectively, compared to the previous month," a statement issued by the WHO media centre read.
"Admission and hospitalisation rates have increased in the last few weeks, and some referral hospitals are reaching full capacity and facing a shortage of intensive care beds and oxygen supplies," it added.
"Until and unless vaccination coverage is increased equitably for everybody, everywhere, the virus will continue to circulate and mutate to produce new variants," WHO said in its statement.