The COVID-19 pandemic has turned lives of all upside down, says the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as he addresses the health leaders from across the globe at the World Health Assembly, which commenced today, May 22, 2022.
Dr Tedros asserted during his opening address, “The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Our world has endured great suffering – and endures it still. I know how difficult the last two years have been for you and the people we serve together. People have lost their lives, loved ones and livelihoods”.
He then added that amid the pandemic, the health systems strained to a breaking point, and even in some cases, it is beyond.
“Health workers have laboured under extreme circumstances. Some have paid the ultimate price, and we have lost others to stress and depression; Communities have faced great disruptions to their lives, with schools and workplaces closed and the burden of isolation and anxiety”, stated the Director-General.
Apart from this, Dr Tedros thanked the world health officials for their immense dedication to safeguarding the lives of people or their communities as well as for working with the WHO Secretariat and its’ partners to protect others around the world.
“More than 6 million COVID-19 deaths have been reported to WHO, But as you know, our new estimates of excess mortality are much higher – almost 15 million deaths”.
He then cited that though many countries have lifted the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations following which the life in those is getting back on track, this does not mean that the pandemic has ended; it is still on.
“In many countries, all restrictions have been lifted, and life looks much like it did before the pandemic. So is it over? No, it’s most certainly not over. I know that’s not the message you want to hear, and it’s definitely not the message I want to deliver. There’s no question we have made progress; of course, we have: 60% of the world’s population is vaccinated, helping to reduce hospitalizations and deaths, allowing health systems to cope, and societies to reopen. But it’s not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere”.
Full address of the WHO Director-General can be read at – https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-address-at-the-75th-world-health-assembly—22-may-2022.