The highly infectious Delta strain of COVID-19 is causing mayhem around the world.
Fears are growing over major sporting events like Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games, even as tallies show the world passed the milestone of over 3 billion vaccines administered.
At least 3.9 million people have died from the virus and the pattern of vaccinations globally is highly uneven.
High-income countries as defined by the World Bank have administered an average of 79 doses per 100 inhabitants.
But in low-income nations, the figure is just one shot per 100 people.
“The world is failing,” warned WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“We are facing a two-track pandemic, fuelled by inequity,” the World Health Organization chief said.
The WHO said it was supporting the five remaining countries yet to start their immunisation campaigns: Burundi, Eritrea, Haiti, North Korea and Tanzania.
The coronavirus mutation has been detected in 78 countries, and is prevalent in Britain, India and Russia.
The delta variant of COVID-19, first identified in India in February, was spreading in America—and quickly. “The delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the US to our attempt to eliminate covid-19,” declared Anthony Fauci, the director of America’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, issued a similar warning a week earlier. To contain the rapid spread of the variant, European countries and Hong Kong have tightened controls on travellers from Britain.