WHO chief: Ending the Covid pandemic ‘nonetheless a great distance off’

The pinnacle of the World Well being Group on Thursday toned down his assertion that the COVID-19 pandemic was nearing an finish, warning that declaring the disaster over was “nonetheless a great distance off”.

Final week, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed reporters that the world had “by no means been in a greater place to finish the pandemic…the tip is in sight”.

US President Joe Biden went additional in an interview broadcast on Sunday, declaring that the pandemic in the USA was “over”.

However chatting with the media once more Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations Common Meeting in New York, Tedros sounded much less optimistic, explaining that “having the ability to see the tip, doesn’t imply we now have reached the tip.”

He reiterated that the world was in the perfect place it had ever been to finish the pandemic, with the variety of weekly deaths persevering with to drop – now solely 10 p.c from what it was at its peak in January 2021.

Tedros famous that two-thirds of the world’s inhabitants has been vaccinated, together with three-quarters of well being staff and the aged.

“We have spent two and a half years in a protracted, darkish tunnel, and we’re simply starting to peek into the sunshine on the finish of that tunnel,” he mentioned.

However he pressured, “The highway continues to be lengthy, and the tunnel continues to be darkish, with many obstacles that might stumble us if we don’t deal with them.”

“We’re nonetheless within the tunnel.”

In its newest epidemiological replace, the World Well being Group mentioned that greater than 9,800 deaths had been reported final week, down 17 p.c from the earlier week, whereas 3.2 million new instances had been reported.

The United Nations well being company has warned that the low variety of reported instances is misleading, as a result of many nations have lowered testing and will not detect much less extreme instances.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical chief on Covid, instructed reporters that the virus was nonetheless “spreading at an intense degree”, though the scenario in numerous nations was uneven.

However she famous that the world has the instruments to curb the unfold.

“Our aim is to finish the state of emergency in all nations. We are going to proceed to take action till we attain that aim,” she mentioned.

For the reason that starting of the pandemic, the World Well being Group has counted greater than 609 million instances and practically 6.5 million deaths, though the true quantity is believed to be a lot larger.

A WHO research revealed in Might based mostly on the surplus deaths seen in numerous nations through the pandemic estimated that as many as 17 million folks might have died from Covid in 2020 and 2021.


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