“We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a virtual press conference. This comes as probably the most optimistic statement by the health organization since the dawn of Covid-19 which has been there for almost 3 years now and has claimed the lives of more than 6 million people across the globe so far.
As per Ghebreyesus, “The world has never been in a better position to end the COVID-19 pandemic.” He said, “If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.”
The statements came in the wake of a falling number of Covid cases that have been reported to be at the lowest mark since March 2020. According to the UN agency’s latest epidemiological report, the number of Covid-19 cases dropped by 28 percent to 3.1 million during the week ending September 11, following a 12 percent dip the week before. The availability of vaccines and other therapies has supposedly led to a decrease in the severity of Covid.
Despite the positivity surrounding the news, WHO has also warned against taking a back seat in the fight against covid, as the falling number of reported cases could possibly be deceptive, as many countries have cut back on testing due to which the less severe cases may not be getting reported.
WHO technical lead on Covid, Maria Van Kerkhove said, “We feel that far more cases are actually circulating than are being reported to us.” Kerkhove added “that there may be a possibility of future waves of infection, potentially at different time points throughout the world due to different sub-variants of Omicron or even different variants of concern.”
The agency recommended that countries should invest in vaccinating 100 percent of the most at-risk groups, including health workers and the elderly along with keeping up testing and sequencing for the virus.