World Health Organization (WHO) Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that COVID-19 will be here for the foreseeable future.
On Monday, he declared that it was dangerous to assume that Omicron would be the last variant or the world was witnessing the COVID-19′ endgame’.
“On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge,” Tedros explained.
He noted that on average last week, there were reports of 100 COVID-19 cases every three seconds and one death every twelve seconds.
In an appeal to the WHO Member States, Tedros said their top priorities should be stopping future health threats from taking hold and causing such massive disruption to health systems, economies, and societies.
The WHO Director noted that all States should promote health and wellbeing, preventing disease by addressing its root causes.
In this regard, he urged a renewed focus on primary healthcare for everyone.
On tackling the coronavirus specifically, Tedros called for better management of acute respiratory diseases via a “sustained and integrated” international platform to coordinate preparedness against future pandemics.
“Learning to live with COVID cannot mean that we give this virus a free ride,” he asserted.
“It cannot mean that we accept almost 50,000 deaths a week, from a preventable and treatable disease. It cannot mean that we accept an unacceptable burden on our health systems, when every day, exhausted health workers go once again to the front line,” Tedros stated.
And he reiterated a call for all countries to vaccinate 70 percent of their populations to help bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic.