Thu 15 September 2022:
The number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 has dropped dramatically, according to the World Health Organization’s director-general, who urged nations to maintain their efforts against the disease, which has killed over six million people.
“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Wednesday during a virtual news conference.
“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight.”
Newly reported cases of the disease, which has killed millions and infected 606 million since appearing in late 2019, last week fell to the lowest level since March 2020, Tedros said.
“If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.”
In a bid to help countries to do what is needed to rein in the virus, the WHO published six policy briefs.
“These policy 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,” Tedros said.
He also urged nations to vaccinate 100 percent of their high-risk groups and keep testing for the virus.
The WHO warned of the possibility of future waves of the virus and said countries need to maintain adequate supplies of medical equipment and healthcare workers.
“We expect there to be future waves of infections, potentially at different time points throughout the world caused by different subvariants of Omicron or even different variants of concern,” said WHO’s senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced last week that the Human Development Index (HDI) has declined for the first time in its history, owing to crises such as COVID-19 and the Ukraine war. The HDI is a measure of a country’s life expectancy, education levels, and standard of living.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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