The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that the Covid pandemic is not over yet.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Ghebreyesus said, “Being able to see the end does not mean we are at the end,” news agency AFP reported.
Ghebreyesus reiterated the world was in the best position it had ever been in to end the Covid pandemic, with the number of weekly deaths continuing to drop — and now just 10% of what they were at the peak in January last year.
He pointed out that two-thirds of the world’s population was vaccinated against Covid, including three-quarters of health workers and elderly people.
“We have spent two-and-a-half years in a long, dark tunnel, and we are just beginning to glimpse the light at the end of that tunnel,” the WHO director-general further told reporters on Thursday.
However, he stressed, “It is still a long way off, and the tunnel is still dark, with many obstacles that could trip us up if we don’t take care. We’re still in the tunnel.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ remarks came days after United States President Joe Biden declared that the Covid pandemic is over in the country. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it…, but the pandemic is over,” Biden told CBS news last Sunday.
Currently, there are more than 618 million Covid cases globally, according to figures by worldometers. As many as 6,535,808 people have died from the virus and nearly 599 million have recovered so far.
The United States has been the most affected nation by Covid followed by India, France and Brazil, the worldometers figures showed.
In its latest epidemiological update on Tuesday, the WHO said that globally, the number of new weekly Covid cases remained stable during the week of 12 to 18 September as compared to the previous week, with over 3.2 million new cases reported.
“The number of new weekly deaths decreased by 17% as compared to the previous week, with over 9800 fatalities reported,” the United Nations health agency added.
(With agency inputs)