10 March 2022
PANDEMIC – ‘FAR FROM OVER’
Almost 500 million people have been infected with the coronavirus since March 2020 and new variants are still a threat. This Friday marks two years since the World Health Organisation (WHO) characterized the global spread of Covid-19 as a pandemic, reports the UN News on 9 March 2022.
“Although reported cases and deaths are declining globally, and several countries have lifted restrictions, the pandemic is far from over – and it will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” said World Health Organisation (WHO) Director Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus.
In Geneva, the WHO chief reminded all that ‘many countries in Asia and the Pacific are currently facing surges of cases and deaths’.
He also expressed his concern over the ‘drastic reduction of testing in several countries’.
“This inhibits our ability to see where the virus is, how it’s spreading and how it’s evolving,” he warned.
Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid-19 Technical lead informed that ‘recombinant strain’ is detected in France, Netherlands and Denmark but ‘there are very low levels of detection’, as reported by the UN News.
“Unfortunately, we do expect to see recombinants because this is what viruses do, they change over time. We are seeing intense levels or circulation; we see this virus impacts animals with the possibility of affecting humans again”, the Technical lead said.
“The pandemic is far from over, not only do we need to focus on saving people’s lives, we also have to focus on reducing the spread. We cannot allow this virus to spread at such an intense level”, she called on all countries to reinforce their surveillance and sequencing systems