WHO sees COVID posing similar threat to flu this year


New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic could settle down to pose a threat similar to flu this year, World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

According to a report by news agency AFP, the WHO said it was confident that the pandemic phase of Covid is likely to end this year.

“I think we’re coming to that point where we can look at Covid-19 in the same way we look at seasonal influenza,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference.

“A threat to health, a virus that will continue to kill. But a virus that is not disrupting our society or disrupting our hospital systems, and I believe that that will come, as Tedros said, this year,” Ryan added.

The World Health Organisation chief further said that the world is in a much better position now than it was at any time during the Covid pandemic.

“I am confident that this year we will be able to say that Covid-19 is over as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC),” he said.

Ryan said that for the first time, the weekly number of reported deaths due to Covid over the past four weeks has been lower than when he first described Covid-19 as a pandemic.

“We declared a global health emergency to spur countries to take decisive action, but not all countries did,” he said, adding, “Three years later, there are almost seven million reported deaths from Covid-19, although we know that the actual number of deaths is much higher.”

It is to be noted that the WHO declared a PHEIC, the highest level of alarm it can sound, on January 30, 2020, when outside of China, less than 100 Covid cases and no deaths had been reported.

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