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The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it: WHO Chief

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 25, 2021

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO chief   -  REUTERS

Countries must start using public health tools, medical tools effectively, says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The Covid-19 pandemic will end when all the countries start using available public health tools and medical tools effectively, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

In his address to the World Health Summit in Berlin, the WHO chief said one of the most frequent questions that he is often asked is, “When will the pandemic end?”

“The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it. It’s in our hands. We have all the tools we need: effective public health tools and effective medical tools,” Ghebreyesus said.

Ghebreyesus said with almost 50,000 deaths a week, the pandemic is far from over, “and that’s just the reported deaths,” he said.

He further emphasised WHO’s target to vaccinate 40 per cent of the population of every country by the end of this year.

Also read WHO: Europe the only region with rise in Covid-19 last week

“That target is reachable, but only if the countries and companies that control supply match their statements with actions – right now,” he said.

“The countries that have already reached the 40 per cent target – including all G20 countries – must give their place in the vaccine delivery queue to COVAX and the African Vaccines Acquisition Trust, or AVAT; The G20 countries must fulfil their dose-sharing commitments immediately,” he said.

More transparency

“Manufacturers must prioritise and fulfil their contracts with COVAX and AVAT as a matter of urgency, and be far more transparent about what is going where. And they must share know-how, technology and licences, and waive intellectual property rights,” he further added.

The WHO Chief’s statement comes after the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called on the G20 countries to help collect $8 billion to ensure a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines across the globe.

Ghebreyesus further added that countries must also prepare to prevent the next pandemic, with better governance, financing, systems and tools, and by strengthening WHO.

Additionally, “all countries must invest in primary health care as the foundation of universal health coverage,” he added.

Meanwhile, as of October 25, 8 am, India’s coronavirus infection tally was over 34.1 million. According to official data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, the active caseload stands at 1,67,695. The number of cured/discharged/migrated patients is 33,567,367. As many as 443 new deaths were recorded taking the death toll to 4,54,712.

Published on October 25, 2021

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