• WHO: 2022 can mark the end of Covid's acute stage

    International

    Digital Desk: With the year entering into 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus reminded that it was two years ago, as people assembled for New Year's Eve celebrations, that a new global threat arose. 

    During a press meet, the UN health agency chief expressed positivity that 2022 may be the year the world ends the acute stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    However, the new Omicron variant seems to repeat the past threat created by coronavirus worldwide. Earlier, the WHO chief mentioned that the new Omicron variant is the only variant with the highest rate of enlarging its spread.

    Presently, Omicron is up to record numbers, leading to spikes in hospitalizations and deaths. Tedros is "highly concerned" that the more transmissible Omicron, airing simultaneously as Delta, directs to "a tsunami of cases." 

    WHO in 2020 has asked top leaders to look into the immunization process. WHO has asked them to vaccinate 40% of their citizens by 2020 and 70% by the middle of 2022. However, 194 Member States have already missed the target for 2021.

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    WHO chief has also conveyed his concern for the low-income nations. These low-income countries receive a small supply for most of the year and then following vaccines arriving close to expiry, without key parts, like syringes. 

    The WHO chief alerted that boosters in rich nations could push low-income nations to again fall short and called on leaders of rich nations and manufacturers to work jointly to achieve the 70 per cent goal by July. 

    Tedros confessed that defeating the new health hazard would need science, explanations, and solidarity. "Populism, limited nationalism and hoarding of health tools, including masks, therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, by a few nations disabled equity, and created the ideal conditions for new variants", Tedros stated.  

    He further added that we have 185 days to the finish line of reaching 70 per cent by the beginning of July 2022. And the clock starts now.

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