The president of the World Health Organization on Thursday downplayed his claim that the Covid-19 epidemic was nearing its conclusion and cautioned that it was “still a long way off” before the crisis was declared.
The world has never been in a better position to stop the epidemic, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who told reporters last week that “the end is in sight.”
Additionally, US Vice President Joe Biden said that the epidemic in the US was “over” in an interview that was aired on Sunday.
Tedros looked less optimistic when he spoke to the media again on Thursday from the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York, making it clear that “being able to see the finish, doesn’t imply we are at the end.”
He emphasized that with the number of weekly fatalities continuing to decline and now being barely 10% of what they were at their peak in January 2021, the world was in the most excellent position it has ever been in to stop the epidemic.
Two-thirds of the world’s population, including elderly individuals and three-quarters of health care professionals, have received vaccinations, according to Tedros.
He added that we have been in a long, dark tunnel for the last two and a half years, and we are only now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It is still a long way off,” he emphasized, “and the tunnel is still dark, with numerous pitfalls that may trip us up if we don’t take care.”
“We’re still in the tunnel.”
Over 9,800 deaths were recorded last week, down 17% from the week before, according to the WHO’s most recent epidemiological bulletin, while 3.2 million new cases were reported.
The UN health agency has warned that the declining number of reported cases may be misleading since many nations have reduced testing and may not be picking up on less severe cases.
The virus is still “circulating at an extreme level,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical head on Covid, but conditions vary between nations.
But she emphasized that the world already has the resources available to stop the spread.
“We want to put an end to the crisis everywhere. And we’ll keep working till we do it “She said.
The WHO has recorded more than 609 million cases and around 6.5 million fatalities since the epidemic began, while the actual death toll is considered far higher.
Up to 17 million individuals may have perished from Covid in 2020 and 2021, according to a WHO report released in May based on increased mortality seen in numerous nations during the epidemic.