WHO chief says Covid-19 deaths down but warns virus is still on the move
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization
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Martial Trezzini/KEYSTONE / MARTIAL TREZZINI
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that Covid-19 deaths had dropped by 95 per cent since the start of the year.
However, it warned that the virus was still on the move and countries would have to learn how to manage its ongoing non-emergency effects, including the post-Covid-19 condition, Long-Covid.
“We’re very encouraged by the sustained decline in reported deaths from Covid-19, which have dropped 95 per cent since the beginning of this year,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.
“However, some countries are seeing increases, and over the past four weeks, 14,000 people lost their lives to this disease.”
He added that the emergence of the new XBB.1.16 variant illustrates that the virus was still changing, and was still capable of causing new waves of disease and death.
“This virus is here to stay, and all countries will need to learn to manage it alongside other infectious diseases,” he said.
Tedros added that an estimated one in ten infections resulted in Long Covid, suggesting that hundreds of millions of people would need longer-term care.
He said, however, that the WHO remained hopeful that it would be able to declare an end to Covid-19 as a public health emergency of international concern, when its advisory committee convenes next month.
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