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COVID-19 pandemic is ‘end in sight’, WHO official says

COVID-19 pandemic is 'end in sight', WHO official says

The World Health Organization’s special envoy for COVID-19 said on Monday there is an “end in sight” to the pandemic – but warned of a “difficult” three months moving forward with the spread of the Omicron variant.

“I’m afraid we’re going through the marathon, but there’s no real way to say we’re at the end – we can see the end in sight, but we’re not there. And there will be some bumps before we get there,” Dr. David Nabarro told Sky News.

Nabarro said new variants could play a role in emerging waves, putting even more strain on already overburdened health systems.

“First of all, this virus continues to evolve — we have Omicron, but we’re going to get more variants,” he said.

“Second, it really affects the whole world. And, [while] health services in western europe are close to coping, in many other parts of the world they are completely overwhelmed,” Nabarro continues.

“And thirdly, it is very clear that there is no room for major restrictions in any country, especially in poor countries. People just have to keep working and so there are some very difficult choices for politicians right now,” he said.

“We see the end in sight, but we are not there yet. And there will be some bumps before we get there,” said Dr. David Nabarro.
Fabrice Coffrin/AFP via Getty Images

“It will be difficult for at least the next three months,” Nabarro added.

Experts begin to look ahead to when the virus will become endemic like flu, which is constantly circulating but is not a major concern.

When asked about the possibility of peaks of the deadly bug two or three times a year, he said that “the way this virus behaves, and has really behaved since we first encountered it, is that it builds up and then gets pretty bad. rises dramatically, and then it comes down again and then rises again about every three or four months.

“It is difficult to use past behavior to predict the future. And I don’t like to do that, but I agree that the pattern that I think is going to happen with this virus is continual spikes, and living with COVID means you can prepare for these spikes and react and be very quickly as they arise,” Nabarro told the news channel.

COVID patient being loaded into an ambulance.
dr. David Nabarro explained that new variants can play a role in emerging waves.
Salvatore Laporta/IPA via ZUMA Press

“Life can go on, we can get the economy going again in many countries, but we just have to really respect the virus and that means we have really good plans to deal with the peaks,” he added.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US passed 60 million Monday morning, with more than 837,000 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The number of cases worldwide was more than 307 million and nearly 5.5 million deaths.