WHO Chief Says COVID Pandemic Could End In 2022, Here's How

A "COVID-19 Drive-Up Testing" Sign Sits in the Foreground While Two Female Nurses Wearing Gowns and Surgical Face Masks Talk to Patients in their Cars in a Drive-Up (Drive Through) COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Testing Line Outside a Medical Clinic/Hospital Outd

Photo: Getty Images

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he believes the world is capable of ending the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, even despite a continued spike in cases.

In a LinkedIn post shared on Thursday (December 31) entitled 'My hope for ending the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022,' Ghebreyesus wrote that the world had the "tools to end this calamity" but noted that "it comes down to a matter of will."

"After two years, we now know this virus well," Ghebreyesus wrote. "We know the proven measures to control transmission: mask use, avoiding crowds, maintaining physical distancing, practicing hand and respiratory hygiene, opening windows for ventilation, testing and contact tracing. We know how to treat the disease it causes and improve the chances of survival for people suffering serious illness. With all these learnings and capacities, the opportunity to turn this pandemic around for good is in our grasp."

The WHO chief's post comes days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new estimates on coronavirus cases Wednesday (December 29), which predict more than 44,000 Americans could die from the virus during the next month.

The CDC reports the death toll in relation to the virus has already increased by about 18%, with an average of 1,546 deaths per day, according to the data released by the agency.

The data also showed the U.S. hit a new seven-day average record of 277,000 new cases per day, which surpassed a previous record of 250,000 cases per day set in January.

Meanwhile, the CDC recently changed its guidance to shorten isolation for asymptomatic cases from 10 to five days this week.

"We know that the most amount of transmission occurs in those one to two days before you develop symptoms (to) those two to three days after you develop symptoms," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told CNN. "And if you map that out, those five days account for somewhere between 85% to 90% of all transmission that occurs."

The CDC is urging Americans to take caution during New Year's celebrations amid the continued rapid spread of COVID-19 cases, specifically the extremely contagious Omicron variant.

You can read Ghebreyesus' full LinkedIn post here.


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