Public/Global Health

WHO chief says COVID-19 ‘isn’t finished with us,’ despite declining infections

Despite declining daily case rates around the world, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) leader encouraged people on Wednesday to remember that “COVID isn’t finished with us.” 

“Depending on where you live, it might feel like the COVID-19 pandemic is almost over, or, it might feel like it is at its worst,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.

“But wherever you live, COVID isn’t finished with us,” he added.

Tedros also said that “diseases know no borders,” noting that the rapid uptick in infections that the omicron variant brought showed how “any feeling of safety can change in a moment.” 

“We know this virus will continue to evolve, but we are not defenseless,” the WHO leader noted. “We have the tools to prevent this disease, test for it and to treat it. When people have access to those tools, this virus can be brought under control.”

The comments came during opening remarks for the launch of the WHO’s ACT-Accelerator campaign for global equity in COVID-19 tests, treatments, vaccines and personal protective equipment.

They followed the release on Tuesday of the agency’s weekly epidemiological report, which showed that COVID-19 cases across the world declined by 17 percent in the week between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 when compared with the prior week. During that time period, the agency reported 19 million new cases of COVID-19 and just under 68,000 new deaths.

The declining global case rates included a 50 percent decline in cases in the United States, which recorded a record high 1,369,637 daily cases last month on Jan. 10, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center from Johns Hopkins University. 

The WHO’s report also confirmed that the omicron variant was the world’s dominant COVID-19 strain, accounting for nearly 97 percent of all cases reported through the international virus-tracking platform GISAID in the past 30 days.

Tags COVID-19 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus World Health Organization

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