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WHO Chief Warns Of Ongoing Pandemic Despite Vaccines, Less Restrictions

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is far from over even with high vaccination rates, CNBC reported.

His remarks came days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people could go without masks in many places if they’re fully vaccinated.

“There is a huge disconnect growing where in some countries with the highest vaccination rates, there appears to be a mindset that the pandemic is over, while others are experiencing huge waves of infections,” Tedros said during a news conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters, according to CNBC.

He said the pandemic “will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” per the report.

The CDC’s recent announcement regarding mask guidelines marked the first time the government has advised people it’s OK to stop wearing masks since the pandemic began. In addition, the new CDC guidelines said people who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to stay six feet away from one another in many situations, either outdoors or indoors.

New COVID-19 cases have been on the decline in the U.S., with the country reporting around 33,200 new infections as of Sunday (May 16), CNBC reported. There are around 123 million Americans fully vaccinated.

According to the report, though, other countries have not been doing as well, with India reporting a seven-day average of around 328,900 cases as of Sunday. That number represents a 15 percent drop from last week, but still a high amount of cases.

Tedros said the governments of countries suffering from COVID-19 outbreaks would need funding to help beat them, CNBC reported.

“The current response plan is underfunded, and the vast majority of that is ring-fenced by donors for specific countries or activities,” he said, according to CNBC.

In other news, the World Economic Forum has canceled its Singapore meeting due to the presence of new COVID-19 variants and the ensuing uncertainty, PYMNTS reported. Travel outlook and vaccine distribution around the world are also being considered.

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