By Cecilia Ologunagba
World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday released six short policy briefs that outline key actions that all governments must take to end COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, announced this at a news conference at the UN health agency’s headquarters in Geneva.
He said the policy briefs are based on evidence and experiences of the last 32 months, outlining what works best to save lives, protect health systems, and avoid social and economic disruption.
He added that the briefs will serve as urgent call for governments to take a hard look at their policies and strengthen them for COVID-19 and future pathogens with pandemic potential.
He explained that the documents, which are available online, include recommendations regarding vaccination of most at-risk groups, continued testing and sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and integrating effective treatment for COVID-19 into primary healthcare systems.
He, therefore, urged authorities to have plans for future surges, including securing supplies, equipment, and extra health workers.
The briefs also contain communications advice, including training health workers to identify and address misinformation, as well as creating high-quality informative materials, he added.
He said WHO had been working since New Year’s Eve 2019 to fight against the spread of COVID-19 “and will continue to do so until the pandemic is truly over.
“We can end this pandemic together, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize this opportunity.”
According to him, as the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 plunged to its lowest since March 2020, the end of the pandemic is now in sight.
He said “we have never been in a better position to end the pandemic.
“However, the world is not there yet.
“A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view. She runs harder, with all the energy she has left. So must we.
“We can see the finish line. We’re in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running.
“The policy briefs outline the key actions that all governments must take now to finish the race.” (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)