Health

WHO Tedros sums up a difficult year and calls for more information on the spread of COVID in China

For a comprehensive assessment of the risks of the situation on the ground, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu told reporters at a regular briefing in Geneva that WHO needs more information about the severity of the disease, hospitalization and support requirements in the intensive care unit.

“WHO is supporting China to focus its efforts on vaccinating high-risk people across the country, and we continue to offer our assistance in providing clinical care and protecting its health system,” he said.

Difficult year

Although in the third year of life COVID-19 is not the only problem for people in the world.

From the global outbreak of monkeypox now known as mpoxto cholera outbreaks in many countries and ebola appearance in Uganda, wars in Ethiopia and Ukraine; drought and floods in the Greater Horn of Africa and the Sahel; and flooding in Pakistan, this year has been challenging on many fronts.

“Not to mention the many other health threats that people face year after year, in the air they breathe, in the products they consume, in the conditions in which they live and work, and in their lack of access to basic health services. Tedros said.

Reason for optimism

As 2022 draws to a close, he optimistically laid out “many reasons for hope”.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has declined significantly this year, the global monkeypox outbreak is waning, and there have been no Ebola cases in Uganda for more than three weeks,” the WHO chief said.

He expressed his hope that each of these emergencies would be declared over at different points next year.

“Of course, we are in a much better position with the pandemic than we were a year ago when we were in the early stages of the Omicron wave, with rapidly increasing cases and deaths,” the senior UN official continued.

“From a peak in late January, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 has dropped by almost 90 percent.”

Gaps and uncertainties

However, he said that since many uncertainties and gaps remain, it is too early to say that the pandemic is over.

WHO chief paints picture of gaps in surveillance; vaccinations; methods of treatment and health care systems.

Moreover, gaps in understanding – from how the pandemic began to post-COVID-19 – mean we don’t know how best to treat those suffering from the long-term effects of the infection, or how to prevent future pandemics.

“We continue to encourage China to share the data and conduct the research that we have requested and that we continue to request,” Tedros said, noting that “all hypotheses about the origin of this pandemic remain on the negotiating table.”


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