The end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be near, the World Health Organization has said.
“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday, September 14.
Worldwide COVID deaths per week dropped last week to 22%, a level not seen since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020, the WHO said.
Still, 11,000 people died from the disease around the world.
Tedros stressed that nations must continue taking actions to address the spread of COVID-19.
“If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty,” he said.
The newest omicron subvariant, BA.5, accounts for almost 90% of cases worldwide, according to the WHO.
Despite the positive news, 3.1 million new COVID cases were reported across the globe last week. That still marked a 28% drop from the previous week, and the case counts have declined around the planet for weeks.
The WHO leader warned that data has become less accurate as many nations and states stop closely monitoring COVID.
“Now is the worst time to stop running,” he said. “Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap all the rewards of our hard work.”