The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is in sight, with the number of global weekly deaths falling to 11,118 on September 5.
“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic – we are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, during a virtual press conference.
However, Ghebreyesu urged nations to maintain their vigilance and likened the pandemic to a marathon race. He said: “Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work.”
The WHO added that countries need to maintain adequate supplies of medical equipment and healthcare workers, and has called for governments to ensure six key actions are taken. These include testing, vaccination, best practices when managing the disease, maintaining infection control measures in health facilities, preventing the spread of misinformation, and community engagement.
Countries need to take a hard look at their policies and strengthen them for Covid-19 and future viruses, Ghebreyesus said. He also urged nations to vaccinate 100 per cent of their high-risk groups and keep testing for the virus.
WHO’s next meeting of experts in October will ascertain whether the pandemic still represents a public health emergency of international concern, a WHO spokesperson added.