Pandemic “certainly not over”, says WHO director-general

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The Covid-19 pandemic “certainly is not over”, warned this Sunday (22) the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during the opening session of the agency’s annual assembly.

More than 100 health ministers from around the world gather in Geneva, Switzerland, this week for the WHO’s first World Health Assembly in three years.

Speaking to health officials, Tedros acknowledged that “the reported cases [de Covid] decreased significantly since the peak of the wave [da variante] Ômicron, in January of this year”. “And reported deaths are the lowest since March 2020,” she added.

“In many countries, all restrictions have been lifted and life is much like before the pandemic. So it’s over? No, it’s certainly not over. I know this is not the message you want to hear, and it is definitely not the message I want to deliver.”

Tedros highlighted that the pandemic “doesn’t end anywhere until it ends everywhere. Reported cases are increasing in nearly 70 countries across all regions — and this in a world where testing rates have plummeted.” He pointed out that deaths are rising, mainly in Africa, “the continent with the lowest vaccination coverage”.

“This virus has taken us by surprise at every turn — a storm that has ripped through communities over and over again, and we still cannot predict its path or its intensity.”

Finally, the director-general of the WHO criticized the relaxation of protective measures against the coronavirus adopted by several countries in the world. “We let our guard down at our own risk. Increased transmission means more deaths, especially among the unvaccinated, and a greater risk of a new variant emerging. Refusing testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus,” he pointed out.

Re-election at WHO

On Tuesday (24), Tedros is expected to be reappointed for a second term at the head of the WHO. Last week, the Brazilian government, which is represented at the entity’s assembly by Minister Marcelo Queiroga, announced that it will support the reelection of the current director-general.

Source: CNN Brasil

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