World News

WHO chief urges more countries to join COVAX as death toll exceeds 1 million

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - One million people are confirmed to have lost their lives to COVID-19, but “the real number is certainly higher”, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a high-level United Nations event on Wednesday.

Tedros, addressing the New York event from Geneva, said that 167 countries have now joined the WHO-led COVAX global vaccines facility, representing 70% of the world’s population, adding: “And the list is growing every day”.

COVAX aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021 and to ensure “equitable access”.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Michelle Nichols in New York