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WHO chief nears end of Covid pandemic – Sciences et Avenir

The world has never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of millions since the end of 2019, the head of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

“Last week, the number of weekly deaths from Covid-19 fell to its lowest level since March 2020. We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press briefing in Geneva.

However, he warned: “We have not yet arrived, but the end is near.”

“We all see the finish line, we are on our way to victory, but this would really be the worst time to stop the race,” he insisted.

“If we don’t seize this opportunity, we risk more options, more deaths, more disruptions, and more uncertainty,” Dr. Tedros emphasizes, urging “seize this opportunity.”

According to the latest epidemiological report on Covid-19, published after the WHO press conference, the number of cases in the week of September 5-11 decreased by 28% compared to the previous week, and amounted to about 3.1 million new reported infections.

The number of deaths over the same period fell by 22% to just under 11,000.

The number of infections is undoubtedly much higher, in part because mild cases are not necessarily declared, and also because many countries have more or less eliminated their testing capacity.

A study by the organization based on forecasts and estimates released in May said between 13 million and nearly 17 million people will die 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 to mid-September.

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At the same time that Dr Tedros launched his message of hope, the WHO published six guides for Member States to quickly overcome this health crisis, which has also cost trillions of euros in terms of paralyzed growth in for many months. entire sectors of the world economy and exposed the inequalities in the world, especially in terms of vaccination.

Rich countries have monopolized available doses, and in many poor countries vaccination rates are still insufficient.

These recommendations “are an urgent call for governments to seriously consider their policies, strengthen them against Covid-19 and future pathogens that have the potential to cause a pandemic,” the head of the UN organization emphasized.

Among these recommendations are messages that WHO has been repeating for almost 2 years, and the emergence of vaccines: vaccinate 100% of vulnerable people and medical personnel, continue testing and gene sequencing programs, which, in particular, allows traces of new potentially dangerous variants.

“We can end this pandemic together, but only if countries, businesses, communities and individuals do their best and seize the opportunity,” said Dr. Tedros.

Dr. Michael Ryan, who is in charge of emergencies at the WHO, has carried this idea through to the end.

“We are still dealing with a virus that mutates and evolves easily, and which over the past two years has proven time and again that it can adapt,” he insisted.

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