Delivering his most upbeat message since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said that the end of the pandemic was finally near.
“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” he said at a media briefing on Wednesday.
Using the image of a marathon runner approaching the finish line, Dr. Tedros warned against complacency, however, saying that “a marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view. She runs harder, with all the energy she has left.”
Statista's Felix Richter notes that while the world is still seeing millions of new Covid-19 cases per week, with the real number probably even higher due to limited testing, those infections are no longer resulting in as many severe cases or deaths as we’ve seen in earlier stages of the pandemic.
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The weekly number of deaths is now lower than it has been at the end of March 2020, and it’s been below that level for a couple of months now.
Make no mistake, more than one million people still died from Covid this year, but the latest trend in hospitalizations and deaths is encouraging.
“We can see the finish line,” Dr. Tedros said in conclusion.
“We’re in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running.” To help the world cross the line and avoid the risk of “more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty, the WHO released six policy briefs outlining best practices to save lives, protect health systems, and avoid social and economic disruption.