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WHO: End of COVID-19 pandemic in sight, but risks remain

World Health Organization to temporarily stop study of hydroxychloroquine
Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 17:53:44-04

(WXYZ) — The COVID-19 pandemic was officially declared in March 2020. Since then, over six-and-a-half million people worldwide have died. But now, global deaths are at the lowest level. 

The World Health Organization says the end of the pandemic is in sight. This is definitely good news, but we are certainly not out of the woods yet. In fact, the WHO’s director-general made it clear that there’s still a risk of more variants and deaths.

And there’s still a lot of uncertainty right now. To help guide countries, the organization released six policy briefs outlining key actions to help end the pandemic. They include continued COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccinations, as well as maintaining infection prevention and control measures in health care facilities. It also included combating misinformation and building trust through community engagement.

Now, COVID-19 cases are falling worldwide; they’re down roughly 28%. Deaths are also falling around the world. Roughly 11,000 people died the
week of Sept. 5 through Sept. 11, and that’s a 22% drop compared to the
week before.

While that is good news, here in the U.S., we are averaging just under 400 deaths a day. And we’ve reported the highest number of weekly deaths than any other country in the world.

There are cases going unreported because of home testing and many countries have relaxed COVID-19 testing and surveillance. That’s why the WHO is asking countries to strengthen their effects, especially as we head into winter. With the colder months, we expect they’ll be future waves. But we’re hopeful these spikes won’t lead to an increase in deaths.

Here in the U.S., the vast majority of Americans dying are over the age of 75. So this leads me once again to stress the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and to get the updated bivalent booster shot.

Omicron’s subvariant BA.5 is still dominant worldwide as well as here in the U.S. The new boosters target this subvariant. In my opinion, we can save lives if people stay up to date with vaccines. And now is the right time to get boosted.

The next Dr. Nandi Show is all about “Lotions, Potions & Miracles Creams – what are we doing to our skin?” Join Dr. Partha Nandi as he talks with guests who attribute bad skin in adulthood to what they eat and the products they use. Plus hear from twin brothers that are astro and geophysicists who developed a skincare line after watching their mom suffer from horrible rashes. And you won’t want to miss great skincare advice from "The Spa Doctor," Dr. Trevor Cates. Join Dr. Nandi this Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1:30 AM on WXYZ.

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Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.