The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, is optimistic that the coronavirus pandemic could be defeated in 2022, provided that countries work together to limit the spread of the virus. In a New Year’s message, however, he warned again of “blunt nationalism” and the “seizure” of vaccines by some countries, the BBC reports.
His comments come two years after the WHO was first notified of cases of an unknown strain of the virus that causes pneumonia in China. The number of cases of Covid in the world now stands at 287 million, while almost 5.5 million people have died.
All over the world, people marked the new year with hope, but the celebration was modest, with many countries wanting to discourage the big crowds. Coronavirus remains a part of everyday life: a disease that has closed borders, caused suffering, separated families and made the mask an inevitable accessory.
The new WHO goal for 2022
Despite all this, Dr Tedros gave a positive note in his speech, noting that there are now many more tools to treat Covid-19, notes BBC. At the same time, the WHO official warned that inequity continues to characterize the distribution of vaccines, which increases the risk of the virus evolving and mutating.
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“Blunt nationalism and vaccination by some countries have undermined equity and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of the Omicron variant, and the longer the inequity continues, the greater the risk that the virus will evolve in ways it does not. we can prevent or predict, “he said. “If we end inequity, we end the pandemic,” he said.
In this context, in his message, Dr. Tedros also discussed the low vaccination rates in some countries. Because, WHO sets new target for 2022: vaccination of 70 percent of the population in all countries by July to end the pandemic.
While most people in Europe and America have received at least one dose of vaccine, the WHO’s goal of achieving a full vaccination rate of 40 percent in each country by the end of 2021 has been missed, especially in the case of Africa.
Dr. Tedros has repeatedly criticized richer nations for hindering the global supply of vaccines, completely vaccinating much of their population, while other states are still waiting for the first doses.
Read also: Absolute record of coronavirus infections in the world. Europe expands restrictions, WHO chief says ‘tsunami of cases’ ahead
The picture of the moment in the coronavirus pandemic
Meanwhile, South Africa, where Omicron has been reported for the first time – is currently causing worldwide concern – has lifted traffic restrictions overnight and said it may have overcome the peak of new infections.
Although several European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Greece, have reported record cases of new infections, the data so far suggest that Omicron infections are not as severe.
However, even during the holidays, Omicron canceled thousands of flights, almost half of them in the United States, as airlines face staffing.
Health officials in France say Omicron is now the dominant country. President Macron said the coming weeks would be difficult, but he also said he was “optimistic” for next year.
At the same time, Israel – which had many pioneering initiatives in this pandemic – became one of the first countries in the world to approve a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine.
Editor: Luana Pavaluca