World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today that the planet was better positioned than ever to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, we are still far away and the tunnel is still dark, with numerous obstacles that could bring us down if we are not vigilant, he added after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in 2020.
With ten times fewer deaths per week now than at the peak of the pandemic (January 2021) and two-thirds of the world's population vaccinated, the world is better positioned than ever to end the pandemic, Tedros argued during a virtual press conference from New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The end of the pandemic is in sight, but we are not there yet, he insisted.
In many countries, restrictions have been lifted, life now resembles what it was before the pandemic, but the current 10,000 deaths are still too many, and many of them could be avoided, he also pointed out.
The healthcare expert also explained that stressed that three-quarters of the elderly and the healthcare workers, who make up two of the leading risk groups, are among the 66% of people vaccinated globally.
Although that in itself was a reason for optimism, Tedros underlined that there are still large gaps in the immunization of low- and middle-income countries and SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread, to change, and the risk of new dangerous variants emerging continues, he added.
We have spent two and a half years in a long, dark tunnel, and we are already seeing some light at the end of it, but there is still a long way to go and the tunnel is still long and full of obstacles, the director general said.