After announcing that daily global COVID deaths are nearing record lows, WHO officials say the end of the pandemic is near.
- Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhonam Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that the end of the pandemic is near, though not quite over yet.
- “We can see the finish line. We’re in a winning position,” Ghebreyesus said. “But now is the worst time to stop running.”
- New cases of COVID-19 reduced by nearly a third last week. All six WHO regions showed a decline in new cases.
- Deaths have also decreased with around 11,000 fatalities reported, a 22% week over week drop. The death reports are at the lowest numbers since March 2020.
Why it’s news
After years of pandemic concerns plaguing people around the world, an official end to the pandemic is welcome news, though Ghebreyesus says there are still a few more steps world leaders need to follow.
In part, Ghebreyesus says that governments need to work toward a goal of 70% global vaccination, focusing especially on at-risk and elderly individuals.
Mutations of COVID are still possible, meaning testing and monitoring of COVID levels should continue, he said. Upticks in cases may happen again and governments should prepare health care systems with the supplies needed.
Ghebreyesus added that continuing to share information about COVID will play an important role in reducing its outbreaks by educating the public.
Though news that COVID cases have reduced globally may be encouraging, there could be other factors at play.
COVID testing is at a much lower rate than it once had been, potentially skewing the numbers, reports Fortune. Some of the information could change as more updated data about cases and death rates from last week roll in.
“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” Ghebreyesus said.