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WHO boss predicts COVID-19 pandemic end in 2022

By Esther Kalu

The Director General, World Health Organisation, (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus, has predicted next year 2022 as as COVID-19 pandemic end while expressing his optimism towards the end of the virus ad its variants.

Ghebreyesus stated that since the outbreak of Covid-19, 1.8 million deaths were recorded in 2020 and 3.5 million in 2021, but the actual number is much higher, adding that there are also millions of people dealing with long-term consequences from the virus.

Speaking during a press briefing on Yesterday, he stated that it was two years ago, as people gathered for New Year’s Eve celebrations, that a new global threat emerged, saying that Right now, Delta and Omicron variants are driving up cases to record numbers, leading to spikes in hospitalisation and deaths.

Ghebreyesus said he was “highly concerned” that the more transmissible Omicron, circulating at the same time as Delta, is leading to “a tsunami of cases, noting that Earlier in 2020, during meetings of the world’s biggest economies – the G7 and G20 – WHO had challenged leaders to vaccinate 40 per cent of their populations by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by the middle of 2022.

However, he disclosed that with only a couple of days left in the year, 92 out of 194 member states missed the target as he attributed this to low-income countries receiving a limited supply for most of the year and then subsequent vaccines arriving close to expiry, without key parts, like syringes.

“Forty per cent was doable. It’s not only a moral shame, it cost lives and provided the virus with opportunities to circulate unchecked and mutate,” he said.

Ghebreyesus further warned that boosters in rich countries could cause low-income countries to again fall short and called on leaders of wealthy countries and manufacturers to work together to reach the 70 per cent goal by July.

“This is the time to rise above short-term nationalism and protect populations and economies against future variants by ending global vaccine inequity.” he said.

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