• The WHO says one of the strategies that should be adopted is vaccinating 70% of the population
  • Other strategies include ensuring fair access to health care and sustaining essential health services
  • The world has so far reported more than 350 million COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic

The public health emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could end in 2022 should the world meet some key targets, World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.

Speaking at an executive board meeting Monday, Dr. Ghebreyesus outlined six strategies that could end the COVID-19 pandemic before the year ends if they are adopted by every country. The strategies include vaccinating 70% of the population, boosting testing and sequencing rates, calibrating the use of public health and social measures, restoring and sustaining essential health services and defining new solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WHO official also said that reducing COVID-19 mortality rates through strong clinical management and fair access to health care could also help end the global health emergency brought about by the pandemic.

Dr. Ghebreyesus added that there would be “no path out” of the COVID-19 pandemic unless all countries commit to vaccinating the majority of their population.

“We simply can’t end the emergency phase of the pandemic unless we bridge this gap,” he said, “but we can bridge it, and we are making progress.”

Ghebreyesus’ speech comes two years after the WHO first declared a public health emergency internationally over the potential spread of COVID-19. At the time, there were fewer than 100 cases worldwide and no deaths had been reported outside of China, where the virus was first detected.

Over the last week, there were roughly 21 million COVID-19 cases reported worldwide. As of Tuesday, the world had a rolling 28-day average of 73,365,668 COVID-19 cases and 196,230 deaths.

As of Tuesday, there were 357,954,943 COVID-19 cases and 5,614,015 deaths confirmed across the globe, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Health experts believe both figures are underestimated.

As the world enters into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghebreyesus has urged people to be disciplined and united to bring the public health emergency to an end.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third year and we are at a critical juncture," he said in the meeting. “We cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect."

coronavirus patient dies after medical residents set ventilators too high
coronavirus patient dies after medical residents set ventilators too high Simon Orlob - Pixabay