WHO On Loosening COVID-19 Restrictions

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Rochelle Walensky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The committee will hear testimony about the Biden administration's ongoing plans to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and Delta variant. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

    The World Health Organization (WHO), leaders stated that COVID-19 must be monitored by the entire world, even though some pandemic trends are positive in certain countries. Dr. Mike Ryan, and Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove addressed the Q&A about public perceptions of the pandemic ending.

    Recent months have seen health officials relax or loosen restrictions on measures such as mask-wearing and requiring proof that vaccination has been obtained against the virus.

    Ryan, who is the executive director for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme said that there are still situations where the world can “reset” the pandemic.

    He stated that it is “within our reach” – we have the power to choose a better future instead of fate.

    Ryan said that normalization is something Ryan wants to see. However, Ryan also noted that they don’t want to see a situation in which uncertainty is minimized.

    Or, we try to minimize the possibility of things going wrong. He stated that people shouldn’t be worried about SARS-CoV-2 or COVID all day.

    Ryan said that the world must remain vigilant and “keep pushing” because coronavirus is not yet in a phase where it could be considered “as any other viruses.”

    “Any other virus doesn’t kill 52,000 people in the world, with a low estimate of 10 million cases per week. He said that it wasn’t just any virus.

    Van Kerkhove, WHO COVID-19 Technical Leader, stated that she was concerned about a decline in testing.

    The infectious disease epidemiologist also advised the world to be vigilant, as “[we] are still in this flood.”

    Millions remain vulnerable even after COVID restrictions are lifted
    Van Kerkhove observed, “What we don’t want to do is right now live inaction because it’s tiring of it.”

    She said, “You will continue to hear our frustrations because we all live this every day. We want it over as much as your heart desires. But we can’t will this away. We’re still in this flood.”

    Data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has shown that over six million COVID-related deaths have already been reported around the world, with more Americans reporting more than 96,000.

    Pandemic deaths are likely underreported. A Thursday study found that 18 million people died from the pandemic by 2021.