End of the COVID-19 pandemic “in sight”, according to the World Health Organization | UK News

The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is “in sight”, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The organization said weekly deaths from the virus around the world are at their lowest since March 2020 – the month Britain first went into lockdown.

In the UK, infections have fallen to their lowest level for almost 11 months.

“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic – we are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” said the agency’s chief executive, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“A marathon runner doesn’t stop when the finish line is in sight, she runs harder, with all the energy she has left. We must do the same.

“We can see the finish line, we are in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop racing.”

He said it was time to “run harder”, adding: “If we don’t seize this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruptions and more uncertainty. So let’s seize this opportunity.”

He called on the world to “end this pandemic together” and announced that the WHO is issuing six guidance notes outlining the steps governments must take now.

The materials include guidance on testing, vaccination, best practices for disease management, maintaining infection control measures in healthcare settings, preventing the spread of misinformation, and community engagement.

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The WHO has estimated that 19.8 million deaths were averted in 2021 thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, and 12 billion doses were administered worldwide.

But he warned the virus still constitutes an “acute global emergency” and pointed out that in the first eight months of 2022 more than a million people died of Covid-19.

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Edward L. Robinett