WHO urges world to end Covid pandemic

The World Health Organisation is urging the world to end the Covid-19 pandemic as newly reported cases decline. The organisation’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the number of new cases dropped to its lowest level since March 2020.

“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight. If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.”

During the week ending September 11, the WHO’s epidemiological report on the number of Covid cases fell by 28 per cent. One week earlier also saw a 12 per cent drop.

But looks can be deceiving as, despite the lower amount of cases being reported, the organisation cautioned that the numbers may not be indicative of the disease slowing down. Noting that many countries have scaled back testing and reporting less severe cases, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO Covid technical lead warned of an underestimate of cases.

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“We feel that far more cases are actually circulating than are being reported to us…..[the virus] is circulating at a very intense level around the world at the present time.”

Van Kerkhove says there will likely be more waves of infection in the future that may be attributed to Omicron variants or even new variants. But, she allayed fears that those new waves won’t necessarily contribute to more deaths.

The WHO has recently published six policy briefs to assist countries in containing the virus. Of those policies, Tedros emphasised the urge for states to invest in vaccinating 100 per cent of their most at-risk groups and the elderly. Further actions include continued testing and sequencing for the virus.

“These police briefs are an urgent call for governments to take a hard look at their policies, and strengthen them for Covid-19 and future pathogens with pandemic potential.”

Michael Ryan, the WHO emergencies director, concurred.

“We can end this pandemic together, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize the opportunity.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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