As the world enters its third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was confident that the pandemic will end in 2022 "if we end inequity" together.
On Friday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "while no country is out of the woods from the pandemic, we have many new tools to prevent and treat Covid-19. The longer inequity continues, the higher the risks of this virus evolving in ways we can't prevent or predict. If we end inequity, we end the pandemic."
As we enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, I'm confident that this will be the year we end it - but only if we do it together, he said.
Highlighting that Covid-19 is not the only health threat the world's people will face next year, he said, millions of people have missed out on routine vaccination, services for family planning, treatment for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
He further said that WHO recommended broad use of the world's first malaria vaccine, which if introduced widely and urgently, could save tens of thousands of lives every year.
"The eradication of polio has never been closer, with just five cases recorded in the two remaining endemic countries. And tobacco use continues to decline. Meanwhile, WHO and our partners responded to crises around the world, including stopping new outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg," WHO chief said.
He further stated that to help prepare the world for future epidemics and pandemics, we established the new WHO BioHub System for countries to share novel biological materials.
The world has recently witnessed a new variant of Covid-19, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.