The COVID-19 pandemic is ‘far from over’ – WHO official
The COVID-19 pandemic is ‘far from over’ – WHO official

The COVID-19 pandemic is ‘far from over’ – WHO official

A WHO flag is pictured between the rounds of the election of the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) during the 70th UN World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, 23 May 2017. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo

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GENEVA, March 18 (Reuters) – A spokesman for the World Health Organization said on Friday that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic was far away, citing an increase in cases in its latest weekly data.

The UN health agency has previously said that the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year, but that will depend on how quickly we reach the goal of vaccinating 70% of the population in each country, among other factors.

Asked by a journalist at a media briefing in Geneva about the time of the end of the pandemic, Margaret Harris said it was “far from over”. “We are definitely in the middle of the pandemic,” she added.

After more than a month of decline, COVID cases began to rise around the world last week, the WHO said, with lockdowns in Asia and China’s Jilin province struggling to curb an outbreak. Read more

A combination of factors was the cause of the increases, including the highly transferable Omicron variant and its cousin BA.2 variant and the abolition of public health and social measures, the WHO said.

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Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Jason Neely and Alex Richardson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters trust principles.

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