Top medical journal calls for three urgent steps against COVID-19

In an analysis, the Lancet COVID-19 Commission has called for three urgent actions in the COVID-19 response. "First, all regions with high rates of new COVID-19 cases, including the USA and the European Union (EU), should intensify measures to minimise community transmission and deploy COVID-19 vaccines rapidly," read the Lancet medical journal in its latest publication. Second, governments should urgently and fully fund WHO and the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, including COVAX. Third, the G20 countries should empower the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks to increase the scale of financing and debt relief. Success on all three priorities--containment of transmission, rapid vaccination, and emergency finance--will require improved global cooperation, it said. New lineages are increasing transmission of infection and raising risks in regions that have been less affected by COVID-19, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, acquired immunity from earlier COVID-19 infections might be less protective against reinfection with some of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants. Mutant lineages might also reduce the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and require adapted vaccines or boosters."* The medical journal also pointed out that at least half of the world's population lacks access to essential health services.