The head of the World Health Organization says he is hopeful that the deadly COVID-19 pandemic will be defeated in the New Year, provided nations work together to contain its transmission.
As celebrators said goodbye to 2021 and welcomed 2022, numerous countries worldwide canceled or limited New Year’s Eve festivities for the second year thanks to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and the new highly transmissible Omicron variant’s spread. As a result, massive fireworks displays were called off in major cities, including Paris, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo.
In a New Year comment, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief, cautioned against ‘narrow nationalism and jab hoarding.’ His statement came 2-years since the U.N. health agency was first informed of cases of an unknown pneumonia strain in the People’s Republic of China.
As of January 1, 2022, the worldwide coronavirus infections stand at around 288 million, while 5436663 people have lost their lives.
New York City was still preparing to drop its iconic ball at midnight, but celebrators will number only a fraction of the traditional size, with entrance to the area capped at fifteen thousand. Restrictions to attend the New Year celebrations included using face masks and vaccination proof.
According to a count Thursday by AFP, the number of daily new coronavirus infections reported worldwide surpassed 1M for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
While the new COVID-19 variant has obstructed many celebrations globally, the reduced severity of the strain has offered people hope in the New Year.
COVID-19 Vaccine Inequity
In South Africa, where officials first discovered the Omicron variant, authorities lifted an overnight curfew, permitting celebrations to proceed. Officials there said the Omicron wave in the country had crested. And the United Kingdom reported on Dec. 31 that the risk of hospitalization with the new variant is about 33% that of the previously dominant infectious Delta variant.
The lethal coronavirus remains part of everyday life – a fatal disease that has closed borders, split families, and in some areas made it inconceivable to leave the house without wearing a face-mask.
In spite of all this, the WHO boss sounded an optimistic note in his address, noting that there’re now substantially more tools to treat coronavirus disease. But he cautioned that continuing discrimination in COVID-19 jab distribution was growing the risk of the virus evolving.
Moreover, Narrow nationalism and jab hoarding by some nations have damaged impartiality and created the model conditions for the emergence of the new Omicron variant, and the longer inequality lasts, the higher the risks of the lethal virus evolving in ways we couldn’t prevent. He added: if we end inequity, we end the deadly pandemic.
Developments to End the Deadly Pandemic
In further developments to curb the pandemic, South Africa has lifted a nighttime curfew after declaring the country is anticipated to have crossed the peak of new COVID-19 infections. In addition, Christian Drosten, a German virologist, told ZDF TV, a German public-service TV broadcaster, that he anticipates relatively normal cold weather, pointing to data proposing that Omicron infections aren’t as severe.
Furthermore, many nations, including Greece, the U.K., and Italy, reported record coronavirus infections. Numerous flights have been canceled, about half of them in America, as airlines fight with crew sickness. French health officials have stated the new variant is now the dominant strain in the country. Also, Emanuel Macron, the President of France, said the coming few weeks would be challenging, but he was optimistic for 2022. The State of Israel has become one of the leading nations globally to authorize a 4th COVID-19 inoculation.
While most of the European and Americas’ population have gotten at least a single shot, a World Health Organization target of full immunization rates in forty percent of every country by 2021’s end has been missed across Africa’s.
My 3 resolutions to support #HealthForAll in 2022.
1⃣ Vaccinate 70% of people in all countries by July 2022 to end the #COVID19 pandemic.
2⃣ Strengthen 🌍 health security by supporting negotiations on a #PandemicAccord.
3⃣ Help all countries strengthen primary health care. pic.twitter.com/7ROBRUVTN2
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) December 31, 2021
Previously, the WHO head has condemned rich countries for gobbling up the worldwide vaccine supply, fully inoculating most of their people while others are waiting even for their first shot. However, the U.N. health agency has set a new goal for the New Year – 2022 – to immunize 70 percent of people in all countries across the world by July to end the coronavirus pandemic.