According to the organisation, worldwide weekly deaths from the virus are at their lowest since March 2020, the month when the United Kingdom first went into lockdown.
In a statement, the agency’s director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared, “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic, we are not there yet, but the end is in sight.”
In addition, he said that “The runner does not stop when the finish line comes into sight. She runs harder with all the power she has left. So must we. We can see the finish line and are in an ingratiating place. But now is the most bad time to stop running.”
He said it was the time to “run harder”. “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 added.
He called on the world to “end this pandemic together” and reported that the WHO is releasing six policy briefs outlining the actions governments must take now.
The documents include guidance on testing, vaccination, best practice for managing the disease, maintaining infection control measures in health facilities, preventing the spread of misinformation and community engagement.
The WHO estimated that 19.8 million deaths were averted in 2021 thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, and 12 billion doses have been administered worldwide.
But it cautioned that the virus still poses an “acute global emergency” and highlighted that more than a million people died during the first eight months of 2022 from Covid-19.