WHO: Covid pandemic ‘far from over’

i24NEWS - AFP/Reuters

3 min read
An employee of the Pyongyang Children's Department Store conducts anti-epidemic work before opening in Pyongyang, North Korea, on March 18, 2022.
AP Photo/Jon Chol JinAn employee of the Pyongyang Children's Department Store conducts anti-epidemic work before opening in Pyongyang, North Korea, on March 18, 2022.

The pandemic could end this year if 70 percent of the world's population gets vaccinated, the WHO says

A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson said Friday that the end of the Covid pandemic was nowhere in sight, citing a rise in global cases in its latest weekly data.

The UN health agency previously said that the acute phase of Covid could end this year, but it would depend on how quickly it could reach its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the world’s population, among other factors.

Asked by a journalist about the timing of the pandemic’s end, Margaret Harris said it was “far from over.”

“We are definitely in the middle of the pandemic," she added.

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After over a month of a decline in Covid cases, the rate started to increase last week, the WHO said, with lockdowns in Asia and China battling to contain a recent outbreak.

The health agency pointed to a combination of factors causing the resurgence, including the highly transmissible omicron variant and its cousin the BA.2 sub-variant, as well as the lifting of public health and social mandates.

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Earlier this week, the WHO warned that the rise in Covid cases occurred despite a decrease in testing - suggesting a much larger hidden wave of global infections.

“The [increases] are occurring despite reductions in testing in some countries, which means the cases we're seeing are just the tip of the iceberg,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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