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The big challenge right now is…: WHO on what could hinder COVID endgame


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has asserted that COVID-related emergencies can end soon saying “We expect to see future waves of the infection but does not have to translate to future waves of death.” However, it cautioned that ‘we are not done yet’ and there are several challenges that still lie in front of us including our endurance.

WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove said, We have never been in a better position to end this pandemic and the emergency of COVID-19, because we have so many tools at our disposal. The big challenge right now is our endurance.

“Everybody that’s been involved in this response, we have been running a sprint in this marathon every single day. We are not done yet. We still have a long way to go when we can end this emergency in every country. And we do see some good trends.”

The trends that we are holding on to are reductions in deaths over time. We do have our challenges with our understanding about the circulation of the virus and the reported number of cases. The decline in death over time is a good sign, but we are not done yet, she said.

And further informed, WHO has issued six policies and these are policy briefs that reiterate and repackage WHO’s key recommendations to high-level ministries and beyond ministers of health to say that look we understand COVID-19 is not the only crisis you are dealing with. Many health and non-health crises are converging. We are dealing with a lot and you are dealing with a lot. But there are some key actions that we need to focus on to help end this emergency and also lay a stronger foundation for the future.

We expect to see future waves of the infection but does not have to translate to future waves of death. So the message is a hopeful one but we have to keep it up, we have to keep going, she concluded.

Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom also said, the world has never been in a better position to end the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not there yet. But the end is in sight.

That was the most upbeat assessment from the UN agency since it declared an international emergency in January 2020 and started describing COVID-19 as a pandemic three months later. The virus, which emerged in China in late 2019, has killed nearly 6.5 million people and infected 606 million, roiling global economies and overwhelming healthcare systems.

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