NEW YORK: As the number of weekly reported deaths from Covid-19 plunged to its lowest since March 2020, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the end of the pandemic is now in sight. “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic”, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists. The UN health agency’s DirectorGeneral explained however, that the world is “not there yet”.
“A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view. She runs harder, with all the energy she has left. So must we. We can see the finish line. We’re in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running”, he underscored.
He also warned that if the world does not take the opportunity now, there is still a risk of more variants, deaths, disruption, and uncertainty. “So, let’s seize this opportunity”, he urged, announcing that WHO is releasing six short policy briefs that outline the key actions that all governments must take now to “finish the race,” he said.
The policy briefs are a summary, based on the evidence and experience of the last 32 months, outlining what works best to save lives, protect health systems, and avoid social and economic disruption.
“[They] 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”, Tedros explained. The documents include recommendations regarding vaccination of most at-risk groups, continued testing and sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and integrating effective treatment for Covid-19 into primary healthcare systems