Two years on, COVID-19 pandemic ‘far from over’

Almost 500 million people have been infected with the coronavirus since March 2020 and new variants are still a threat. This Friday marks two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) characterised the global spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic. 

The UN health agency’s assessment was made six weeks after the virus was declared a global health emergency when there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside China.  Two years later, more than 6 million people have died.

“Although reported cases and deaths are declining globally, and several countries have lifted restrictions, the pandemic is far from over – and it will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere”, said WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus on Wednesday.

The UN Secretary-General issued a statement on Wednesday supporting the WHO chief’s assessment, that it would be ‘a grave mistake’ to think the virus was now in the rear-view mirror. More