Geneva: The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned that 'we're not out of the woods" in the fight against the pandemic, even if many people thought it was nearly over.
"We're not out of the woods. We're very much in the middle of this pandemic. But where in the middle... we're not quite sure yet, because frankly we're not using the tools we have right now to get us closer to the end," Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for WHO's Covid-19 said.
As per Kerkhove, last week 3.1 million known new cases were reported to the UN health agency, and 54,000 more deaths -- though the true numbers would be much higher.
In a live presentation on the WHO's social media channels, she remarked that the situation is still incredibly dynamic because we still don't have control over this virus.
Kerkhove added that she is still struggling to grasp how the people on the streets are acting like Covid-19 is completely over even as ICUs and hospitals are getting full and people are dying in some cities.
She further added that the Covid-19 would not be eradicated and was here to say because of the way the world had handled the crisis.
Van Kerkhove pointed out that the Covid deaths now being reported largely are happening among people who had not been vaccinated.
"From the countries that are providing that information, the rate of hospitalisation and death is by far really among those who are unvaccinated," she said.
Van Kerkhove also hit out at Covid-19 misinformation and disinformation circulating on the internet.
She also added that such misinformations are resulting in the death of people and that there is no way to sugar-coat that.
Van Kerkhove said the WHO was having discussions about the shape of the pandemic over the next three to 18 months.
The US expert said she saw Covid-19 eventually coming under control.
"But we will still have pockets of individuals who are not vaccinated -- either because they don't have access, they refuse, or they can't be vaccinated -- and we can still see outbreaks," she said.
"The possibility to eradicate this virus, or even eliminate this virus at a global level was lost early on," she said.
"And it was lost because we didn't, at a global level, attack this virus as strongly as we could."
According to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 4.8 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019.