Good News: WHO Says 2022 Will Be Last Year of COVID Emergency, Deets Inside

Good News: WHO Says 2022 Will Be Last Year of COVID Emergency, Deets Inside - Sakshi Post

The COVID-19 health emergency could be over this year: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned the disparity in COVID vaccines between affluent and poor countries.

Geneva: The worst of the coronavirus pandemic deaths, hospitalizations, and lockdowns could be over this year, according to the World Health Organization's head of emergencies, if significant discrepancies in vaccinations and treatments are addressed soon.

Dr Michael Ryan, speaking at a World Economic Forum session on vaccination inequities, argued that we may never be able to eradicate the virus since pandemic viruses have become part of the ecology.

But, if we accomplish the things we've been talking about, we have a chance to end the public health emergency this year, he said.

The disparity in COVID-19 immunizations between affluent and poor countries has been described by the WHO as a "catastrophic moral failing." In low-income nations, fewer than 10% of people have received even one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Ryan reminded the virtual gathering of world and business leaders that unless vaccines and other instruments are distributed equally, the virus's tragedy, which has claimed the lives of more than 5.5 million people worldwide, will continue.

"What we need to do is get to low levels of disease incidence with maximum vaccination of our populations, so nobody has to die," Ryan explained. "The issue is: it’s death. It’s the hospitalizations. It’s the disruption of our social, economic, and political systems that’s caused the tragedy, not the virus."

Ryan also weighed in on the ongoing dispute over whether COVID-19 should be classified as an endemic disease, as some nations such as Spain have advocated, or as a pandemic, requiring more aggressive steps to combat the virus's spread.

"Endemic malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people; endemic HIV; endemic violence in our inner cities. Endemic in itself does not mean good. Endemic just means it’s here forever," he explained.

COVID-19 is unlikely to be eradicated, according to public health professionals, and it will continue to kill people, albeit at much lower levels, even after it becomes endemic.

Gabriela Bucher, executive director of the anti-poverty organisation Oxfam International, spoke on the critical need for more equitable vaccine distribution and large-scale production. She claimed that a few firms and stockholders were hoarding resources to battle the pandemic.

The director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, lamented the disintegration of global collaboration and solidarity during the last two years, saying it was "absolutely unacceptable" that so few Africans had received vaccine shots. According to his organisation, barely 10% of Africa's 1.2 billion inhabitants are properly vaccinated.

Also Read: Covid Pandemic Far From Over: WHO Chief

He also sought to dispel the notion that vaccination apprehension is pervasive in Africa, noting research that shows that 80 per cent of Africans would be willing to receive vaccines if they were available.

The remarks were made on the second day of an online replacement for the traditional World Economic Forum meeting, which was cancelled due to pandemic health concerns.

World leaders spoke at the event, including Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, about how to combat the pandemic. He claimed that his government, which immediately implemented a widespread immunisation campaign, has the policy to be at the forefront of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

According to Israel's Health Ministry, 62 per cent of the population is completely vaccinated, including booster doses.

Bennett stated, "We want to be the first in the world to know how vaccines and the new variants respond to one another," citing sophisticated research in Israel.

Fumio Kishida, Japan's prime minister, stated that his country's immunisation rates are high because society places high importance on safeguarding the elderly and defenceless. He intends to maintain strict border controls until the end of February.

He stated that he was attempting to strike a compromise between limiting limitations and keeping the economy open, but that a zero COVID policy against the omicron form was neither practicable nor appropriate.

In a separate press conference on Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the omicron variant is still sweeping the globe, with 18 million new COVID-19 cases reported in the previous week.

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