Coronavirus Update: Pandemic is still a global health emergency, but higher immunity levels could mean fewer deaths

by | Jan 30, 2023 | Stock Market

The coronavirus pandemic is still a global health emergency, according to the World Health Organization, but an advisory panel has determined that it may be nearing an inflection point where higher levels of immunity will lead to fewer deaths. That was the message Monday from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the agency’s annual executive board meeting. He said that the world is in a far better state today than it was a year ago, when the omicron wave was at its peak.

But Tedros cautioned that weekly reported deaths have been climbing since the beginning of December, at a cost of more than 170,000 lives. “And that’s just the reported deaths; we know the actual number is much higher,” Tedros said at the meeting. “We can’t control the virus, but we can do more to address the vulnerabilities in populations and health systems.” Vaccination remains the key tool, he said, and countries must vaccinate 100% of their most at-risk groups and increase access to testing and early antiviral use.  When there is a surge in cases, countries need context-specific measures, including maintaining and expanding laboratory networks. “And it means fighting misinformation,” he said. “We remain hopeful that in the coming year, the world will transition to a new phase in which we reduce hospitalizations and deaths to th …

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