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COVID-19 Update: “An end is in sight,” says WHO chief.

Now is the opportunity to seize the pandemic.

With newly reported COVID-19 cases dropping drastically worldwide, WHO says the pandemic may be nearing a close. According to the latest reports, weekly cases fell by 28%, while weekly deaths reached the lowest globally since March 2020. “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He urged the world to seize the opportunity as there is still a risk for more mutations, deaths, disruption, and uncertainty. “Now is the worst time to stop running; 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 are in a winning position,” WHO stressed.

To “finish the race,” WHO released six short policy briefs outlining key actions that must be integrated into all primary healthcare systems.

COVID-19 Policy Briefs

The two primary objectives of the policy briefs are to firstly; reduce the circulation of the virus, especially those at a higher risk, and secondly, to prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19 cases to reduce long-term consequences and death.

The document provided actionable approaches like vaccine recommendations, COVID-19 testing, sequencing of the virus, and other effective ways to stop the pandemic. Additionally, they also stressed that authorities plan for future surges by securing supplies and hiring extra healthcare workers.

Equipped & Ready

“We expect that there are going to be future waves of infection, potentially at different time points throughout the world, caused by different subvariants of Omicron or even different variants of concern,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19. However, she mentioned that these waves do not need to translate into deaths as we have vaccines and antivirals designed for COVID-19.

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