WHO: End of COVID-19 pandemic ‘in sight’

The head of the World Health Organization says we may soon see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that the number of deaths last week from the coronavirus worldwide is the lowest since March 2020, The Associated Press reported.

“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” Ghebreyesus said, comparing the pandemic to a runner nearing the finish line of a marathon, the AP reported. “Now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap all the rewards of our hard work.”

The WHO said that weekly case counts fell by about 28% across all regions when compared to the week before, CNN reported. Johns Hopkins University’s researchers said that cases in the U.S. have been steadily dropping over the past two months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concurs, saying that new hospitalizations and deaths will hold steady for the next month, CNN reported.

The WHO said there were just over 11,000 deaths between Sept. 5 and 11, CNN reported.

Reuters called it “the most upbeat assessment” since the United Nations agency declared the COVID-19 outbreak an international emergency in January 2020. It was declared a pandemic three months later.

But scientists said we cannot become complacent.

“We expect there to be future waves of infections, potentially at different time points throughout the world caused by different subvariants of omicron or even different variants of concern,” WHO’s senior epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said, according to Reuters.

Globally, there has been a million deaths attributed to COVID-19, Reuters reported.

More than 6.4 million people have died across the globe as of Sept. 11, CNN reported.