Wednesday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the end of the COVID-19 epidemic is "is in sight" and that the world has "never been in a better position" to achieve this long-awaited objective.
During his normal media briefing on Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that the number of weekly COVID-19 deaths from around the globe has reached its lowest level since March 2020, when his organization proclaimed the coronavirus epidemic a global pandemic.
"We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight," Tedros said, equating the coronavirus response to a marathon and asking people to continue their efforts.
"We can see the finish line. We're in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work," he said.
"If we don't take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty."
The most recent data from the WHO indicates that 2,800 global COVID-19 deaths were reported on September 12, a significant decrease from the 11,300 deaths documented the previous week. This information is likely insufficient and subject to change.
Nonetheless, mortality rates have recently reached levels reminiscent of the pandemic's earliest days. In May of this year, the number of recorded weekly deaths decreased to a little under 9,000.
After a minor increase throughout the summer due to the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, the number of coronavirus cases reported has decreased.
To "finish the race," Tedros stated on Wednesday that the WHO will release six policy briefs outlining the necessary actions for governments. These reports contained suggestions to invest in comprehensive immunization of the most at-risk groups, continuous virus surveillance, and preparation for the possibility of future outbreaks.
Tedros stated, "We can end this pandemic together, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize this opportunity,"