Optimists were a glimmer of hope as the chief of the Who Health Organization says the Covid pandemic could end in the near future – on one condition
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Covid is now dragging on into its second year, with the first lockdown in March 2020 seeming like a distant memory.
The pandemic has gone through many phases that have been difficult and devastating in many ways for many people. And the introduction of the Omicron variant just added one more hurdle to the list.
It is understandable, therefore, that hopes for an end to the saga are constantly on people’s mind.
The question is generally scary, however, as the pandemic has often seemed so challenging that predicting the end felt too complex.
However, people looking to end the ordeal may have received only a glimmer of hope thanks to the World Health Organization.
When does the Covid pandemic end?
Predicting an exact end date for the pandemic is of course impossible. The Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that if the world works together, the pandemic can be defeated in 2022.
The night before New Year’s Eve he wrote : “As we are entering the third year of this pandemic, I am confident that this will be the year we end it – but only if we do it together.”
He added: “If we end inequality, we will end the pandemic.
“Through the ACT Accelerator, which includes COVAX, WHO and our partners are helping make vaccines, tests and treatments available to people around the world who need them.”
However, the world will likely have to learn how to deal with the virus and it will not be that easy to flip a switch.
Reduced hospital admissions per case, as well as more efficient vaccine introductions and new drugs – including Covid combat pills – are all real reasons to believe that the pandemic can be defeated sooner rather than later. But the most important thing is international cooperation.
The Director-General said: “We all countries must work together to achieve the global goal of vaccinating 70% of people in all countries by mid-2022.
“We need governments that continue to apply tailored public health and social measures, including testing, sequencing and reporting of variants by all countries without fear of penalties.
“We all have to do our part with masks, distancing, avoiding crowds, meeting outside if possible or in a well-ventilated room inside.”
Of course, not everyone is so optimistic. In mid-December, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Covid would “not go away”.
“Vaccines prevent hospitalizations and death for the majority who get them and slow the spread, but transmissions show no sign of subsiding.
“This is driven by vaccination equality, hesitation and complacency.
“Forty countries haven’t even been able to vaccinate 10% of their population.
“In low-income countries, less than 4% of the population is fully vaccinated.”
By mid-December, only around 7% of people in Africa were vaccinated – at the time the World Health Organization said the continent would not reach 70% at this rate until August 2024.