The World Health Organization has expressed hope that the years-long COVID-19 will end soon.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed the hope at a virtual press conference on Wednesday September 14, 2022.
The director-general stated that the years-long health crisis which has killed over six million people will soon become something of the past.
“We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,” he said.
He urged nations to maintain their vigilance and likened the pandemic to a marathon race.
“Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work.
“Countries need to take a hard look at their policies and strengthen them for COVID-19 and future viruses,” Tedros said.
He also urged nations to vaccinate 100% of their high-risk groups and keep testing for the virus.
The WHO said countries need to maintain adequate supplies of medical equipment and healthcare workers.
“We expect there to be future waves of infections, potentially at different time points throughout the world caused by different subvariants of Omicron or even different variants of concern,” said WHO’s senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.
According to a report, 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.
The rollout of vaccines and therapies have helped to stem deaths and hospitalisations, and the Omicron variant which emerged late last year causes less severe disease.
Deaths from COVID-19 last week were the lowest since March 2020, the U.N. agency reported.