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“Covid Cases Lowest Since March 2020, Pandemic’s End In Sight”: WHO

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The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that last week the number of reported cases of Covid 19 pandemic were the lowest since March 2020. He encouraged people to use the opportunity to fight harder and claim the benefits.

Much to the relief of the people, Dr Tedros signaled the pandemic’s ‘end in sight’ but warned that if we stop now the world can be at a bigger risk. He said, “We can see the finish line. We are in a winning position but now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure to cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work. If we don’t take the opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.”

WHO releases action points for govts.

According to WHO’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Weekly Epidemiological Update, the number of new weekly cases decreased by 28% during the week of 5 to 11 September 2022, as compared to the previous week, with over 3.1 million new cases reported. The number of new weekly deaths decreased by 22%, as compared to the previous week, with over 11,000 fatalities reported. As of 11 September, 605 million confirmed cases and 6.4 million deaths have been reported globally.

During the briefing, the WHO released six short policy briefs that outline key actions that all governments must take now. These briefs are an urgent call for governments to take a hard look on their policies. The United Nations global health agency urged the countries to 100% vaccinate all active groups including health workers and older people at the highest priority.

WHO warns of future waves

Dr Tedros showed concerned as he said that less testing and surveillance means less detection of cases. However, Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO technical lead on Covid warned of futured waves. She said, “We feel that far more cases are actually circulating than are being reported to us. We expect them to be future waves of infection.” Though she cautioned that the virus “is circulating at a very intense level around the world at the present time”, she also added that they need not translate into deaths if we have precautions.

The WHO reported that the omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to dominate globally and comprised nearly 90% of virus samples shared with the world’s biggest public database. In recent weeks, regulatory authorities in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere have cleared tweaked vaccines that target both the original coronavirus and later variants including BA.5.

The WHO is advising nations, among other things, to continue testing and sequencing for the virus as well as investing in vaccination 100% of the most at-risk groups, such as healthcare workers and the elderly.

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