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WHO warns Delta variant will 'remove'

 WHO warns Delta variant will 'remove' those who are not vaccinated

WHO (World Health Organization) officials on Monday warned that the Delta variant of the coronavirus posed a major danger to the world's population and that the rate of serious illness and death could rise sharply if vaccinations were not intensified, especially in the poorest countries .

During a press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Africa, the Americas and Asia were "facing severe epidemics. These cases and deaths are largely preventable... Inequitable access to vaccines has demonstrated that in times of crisis, low-income countries cannot rely on vaccine-producing countries to meet their needs.”

WHO warns Delta variant will 'remove' those who are not vaccinated
Employees at a cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, transport the remains of a COVID-19 victim for burial on Saturday, May 22, 2021 (AP Photo/Mario de Fina)

Ghebreyesus recalled the refusal to provide antiretroviral drugs to countries affected by AIDS as well as the excessive prices of insulin demanded from countries affected by diabetes when this drug had been known for a century. He criticized the pharmaceutical industry and called for the sharing of technical knowledge and the renunciation of intellectual property rights. “The COVID-19 crisis has shown that relying on a few companies to meet global public needs is limiting and dangerous,” he said.

Dr Maria Van Kerkove, WHO technical officer for COVID-19, explained that the Delta variant is spreading rapidly around the world. It had “the possibility of spreading given that we have an increased social mix. There are lapses of health and social measures, or an inappropriate use [of them]... And since we do not have a complete vaccination, it will spread.”

The Delta variant has been detected in 92 countries, she said, but so far two-dose vaccinations have remained "effective against serious illness and death, but we need two doses to be administered."

“Sanitary measures are effective, but they need to be applied for longer,” she said, adding: “Some countries have sanitary measures and the vaccine. Others have health measures without a vaccine. This is not a fair fight against this variant vaccine.”

Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, also highlighted the dangers of the new variant for populations in the poorest countries. They had been largely deprived of access to vaccines because of the policy followed by the main countries that produce them.

“This Delta variant in particular is faster, it's stronger, it's going to attack the most vulnerable more effectively than the previous variants,” he said, “and so if vulnerable people don't be not vaccinated, they are at even greater risk ” .

“All viruses have been fatal in their own way. This virus has the potential to be more deadly, because it is more efficient in its way of spreading between humans, and it will eventually find the most vulnerable people who will fall seriously ill, have to be hospitalized and risk dying.”

He concludes: “We can protect these people now with relatively small transfers of vaccines from the global supply. We can protect these vulnerable people, these frontline workers. And the fact that this has not happened, as the Managing Director has said time and time again, is a catastrophic moral failure, globally.”

What the three officials of the World Health Agency were talking about - while avoiding naming names - was the policy of vaccine nationalism, vaccine hoarding and refusal to cede intellectual property rights, practiced by the major imperialist powers, notably the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany.

The Biden government in the United States has categorically refused to appeal to Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to transfer their technology to India, South Africa and other developing countries with 'pharmaceutical production capacity; and to stop the price gouging they demand for vital vaccine deliveries.

Britain and the European Union have adopted a similar policy towards their own drug producers.

All imperialist powers view the vaccine supply as a weapon in the global struggle for influence, power and strategic advantage against China and Russia, as well as against each other.

As for the warning from the doctors and scientists of the WHO that the Delta virus will “take away” the vulnerable, many in the ruling classes of the imperialist powers see this as a positive thing. They see the lives of the elderly and infirm in their own countries as taking away resources that could be used for profit and the accumulation of personal wealth. They care even less for the lives of hundreds of millions of people facing disease and death in poor countries.

Dr Ryan has rightly pointed out that "convergent evolution" is a growing threat to humanity as a whole. The coronavirus mutation is facilitated and fueled by the existence of a large reservoir of unvaccinated people. No variant has yet found the most fatal combination of transmissibility and lethality, he said, but the Delta variant is an important step in that direction. There would be many more potential new variants if the pandemic was not stopped.

Hundreds of millions of people are also at risk in imperialist countries, despite efforts by governments and corporate media to spread appeasement and declare the pandemic over. In Britain, the Delta variant has now become the dominant strain. In the United States, it now accounts for 19 percent of all cases compared to 7 percent two weeks ago.

Eight US states have seen a sharp increase in the number of cases over the past week due to the Delta variant. These are all states with low vaccination rates and whose governments have halted virtually all anti-COVID-19 health measures.

The Biden government on Monday released an international distribution list for a paltry 80 million doses of US-owned vaccine. With nearly 6 billion people unvaccinated globally, that's a tiny drop in the ocean. Most of these vaccines are intended for the ruling elite and military forces of client countries, such as the 2.5 million doses for Taiwan which rejected Chinese Sinovax, to the detriment of its own population.

As for the supply of 2 billion doses promised by the United States and other powers at their recent G7 summit, given that for most vaccines an effective vaccination requires two doses, this amounts to declaring that only 1 billion people of the 6 billion unvaccinated one can hope for help from the rich imperialist countries. The remaining 5 billion people will face the terror of a deadly virus with only limited or no mask protection and social distancing.

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