AFP, published Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at 5:44 pm
The world has never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed millions of people since the end of 2019, the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
“Last week, the number of weekly deaths from Covid-19 dropped to a minimum since March 2020. We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference in Geneva. .
However, he warned: “We are not there yet, but the end is near”.
“Those who run a marathon don’t stop when they see the finish line. They run faster, with all the energy they have left. And so do we,” said the WHO chief.
“We can all see the finish line, we are about to win but it would really be the worst time to stop racing,” he insisted.
“If we do not take this opportunity, we run the risk of having more variants, more deaths, more interruptions and more uncertainty”, underlines Dr. Tedros, asking to “take this opportunity”.
According to the latest epidemiological report on Covid-19 published after the WHO press conference, the number of cases fell by 28% during the week of September 5 to 11 compared to the previous week, reaching approximately 3.1 million. new infections.
The death toll dropped 22 percent to just under 11,000 over the same period.
The number of infections is undoubtedly much higher, in particular because mild cases are not necessarily declared, but also because many countries have more or less dismantled their testing capacity.
A study by the organization based on projections and assessments published in May reported 13 to nearly 17 million additional deaths from Covid by the end of 2021.
The official figure is just over 6.4 million deaths from Covid-19 from the start of the pandemic until mid-September.
– Advice –
Concurrently with the launch of his message of hope by Dr Tedros, WHO has published six guides for member states to enable them to quickly leave behind this health crisis that has cost even trillions of euros in terms of growth, paralyzed for many months. entire sectors of the world economy and laid bare the inequalities in the world, particularly in terms of vaccination.
Rich countries have monopolized the available doses and in many poor countries vaccination rates are still insufficient.
These recommendations “are an urgent invitation to governments to seriously consider their policies, to strengthen them against Covid-19 and future pathogens that could potentially cause a pandemic”, underlined the head of the United Nations organization.
Among these recommendations, the messages that the WHO has been repeating for almost 2 years and the arrival of vaccines: vaccinate 100% of vulnerable people and health personnel, continue tests and gene sequencing programs, which in particular allows to monitor the trace of new potentially dangerous variants.
“We can end this pandemic together, but only if countries, businesses, communities and individuals step up and seize the opportunity,” said Dr Tedros.
Dr Michael Ryan, head of emergency situations at WHO, took the point home.
“We are still dealing with a virus that mutates and evolves easily and that has proven more than once in the past two years that it can adapt,” he insisted.