Covid-19 health emergency could be over this year: WHO

Covid-19 health emergency could be over this year: WHO

The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic – deaths, hospitalizations, lockdowns – could be over this year if huge disparities in vaccinations and medicines are addressed quickly. “We can never eliminate the virus” because such pandemic viruses “become part of the ecosystem,” Dr Michael Ryan said in a discussion on vaccine inequality hosted by the World Economic Forum.

But “we have a chance to end the public health emergency this year if we do the things we’ve been talking about,” he said. The WHO has described the imbalance in COVID-19 vaccination between rich and poor countries as a catastrophic moral failure. Fewer than 10 people in low-income countries have received even a single dose of the vaccine.

Ryan said that if vaccines and other tools are not shared fairly, the tragedy of the virus, which has killed more than 5.5 million people so far, will continue. “We need to reach low levels of disease incidence with maximum vaccination of our population, so no one has to die,” he said. “The point is this: it is death. It is hospitalization. It is the disruption of our social, economic, political system that has caused the tragedy – not the virus.”

WHO counted 18 million cases last week

The number of new coronavirus cases globally rose 20 percent to more than 18 million last week, according to the World Health Organisation, marking a slowdown in growth caused by the spread of the Omicron variant.

‘Omicron wave can cut down on severity’

According to a study by researchers at the Africa Health Research Institute, South Africa, the Omicron variant may reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19, and the infection may be less disruptive to individuals and society in the future.

15,86,889
Number of new cases reported globally in the last 24 hours

32,85,32,929
Total number of cases worldwide

55,42,359
total number of deaths worldwide

Source: WHO/Johns Hopkins

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