According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the end of the COVID-19 Pandemic is “in sight”, after revealing that weekly deaths from the virus around the world were at the lowest level since March 2020. The weekly global deaths recorded on 5 September 2022 was over 11,000, according to the WHO’s website. Further, the WHO also estimated that over 19 million deaths were prevented in 2021 due to COVID-19 vaccines being administered and that 12 billion doses had been given around the world.
But, it cautioned that coronavirus still posed an “acute global emergency” and highlighted that during the first eight months of 2022 more than one million people died from COVID-19. The director general of the international health agency, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced at a press conference, “Last week, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 was the lowest since March 2020. We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic – we are not there yet, but the end is in sight. 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. 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”.
The WHO has released six policy briefs that outline key actions that all governments must take. The documents include “Guidance on testing”, “Vaccination”, “Best practice when managing the disease”, “Maintaining infection control measures in health facilities, “Preventing the spread of misinformation”, and “Community engagement”. One of the papers notes “With access to and appropriate use of existing life-saving tools, COVID-19 can become a manageable disease with significantly reduced morbidity and mortality.”
In the United Kingdom, officials have confirmed that no plans are being made for people to be able to buy COVID-19 jabs privately. The flu jab is offered annually to people in at-risk groups, with those who are not in these groups able to buy the vaccine privately, should they wish to do so. COVID-19 infections in the UK have dropped to their lowest level in nearly 11 months.
More than 900,000 people in private households are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week leading up to 28 August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is the lowest UK-wide total since the week leading up to 2 October 2021, when the number was 942,600. Infections hit approximately four million in early July this year during the spread of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants but have been on a broadly downward path in recent weeks. In the week leading up to 2 September, 8,868 deaths were registered in England and Wales, and 314 mentioned “novel coronavirus”, accounting for 3.5 per cent of deaths, according to the ONS data.