End of the COVID-19 pandemic 'in sight', World Health Organisation says
It comes as infections in the UK have dropped to their lowest level for nearly 11 months.
Thursday 15 September 2022 07:26, UK
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is "in sight", the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.
The organisation said weekly deaths from the virus around the world are at their lowest since March 2020 - the month Britain first went into lockdown.
In the UK, infections have dropped to their lowest level for nearly 11 months.
"We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic - we are not there yet, but the end is in sight," the agency's director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
"A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view, she runs harder, with all the energy she has left. So must we.
"We can see the finish line, we're in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running."
He said it was the time to "run harder", adding: "If we don't take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption and more uncertainty. So let's seize this opportunity."
He called on the world to "end this pandemic together" and announced that the WHO is releasing six policy briefs that outline the actions that governments must take now.
The documents include guidance on testing, vaccination, best practice of managing the disease, maintaining infection control measures in health facilities, preventing the spread of misinformation and community engagement.
The WHO has estimated that 19.8 million deaths were averted in 2021 thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, and 12 billion doses have been administered around the world.
But it warned that the virus still poses an "acute global emergency" and highlighted that during the first eight months of 2022 more than a million people died from Covid-19.