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World Health Organization Says Europe is Entering ‘Plausible Endgame’ to COVID Pandemic

World Health Organization Says Europe is Entering ‘Plausible Endgame’ to COVID Pandemic

The director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European office said Thursday the continent is now entering a “plausible endgame” to the pandemic and that the number of coronavirus deaths is starting to plateau.

Dr. Hans Kluge said at a media briefing that there is a “singular opportunity” for countries across Europe to take control of COVID-19 transmission due to three factors: high levels of immunization due to vaccination and natural infection, the virus’s tendency to spread less in warmer weather and the lower severity of the omicron variant. “This period of higher protection should be seen as a cease-fire that could bring us enduring

Numerous countries across Europe, including Britain and Denmark, have dropped nearly all their coronavirus restrictions after saying that Omicron has peaked. Others, including Spain, are now considering whether to consider COVID-19 to be an endemic problem that might be handled more like seasonal flu. Even if another variant emerges, Kluge said, health authorities in Europe should be able to keep it in check, provided immunization and boosting efforts continue, along with other public health interventions.

The United States may also reach a similar plateau once enough Americans are vaccinated, health experts say. With children under 5 soon to be eligible for vaccinations, the nation may be able to enjoy a similar reprieve by late spring. But the  WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that the world as a whole is still far from exiting the pandemic.

“We are concerned that a narrative has taken hold in some countries that because of vaccines — and because of omicron’s high transmissibility and lower severity — preventing transmission is no longer possible and no longer necessary,” Tedros said Tuesday. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

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