Top Recommended Stories

Europe Probably Moving Towards Covid Pandemic ‘Endgame’: WHO

The WHO's Europe director Hans Kluge said, "It's plausible that the region is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame."

Published: January 24, 2022 9:28 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Rajashree Seal

An employee of a covid test station wearing a face mask poses in front of the station in Halle/Saale, eastern Germany on January 19, 2022. (AFP Photo)a
An employee of a covid test station wearing a The kit, described in the journal PLOS ONE, is based on a simple, non-invasive COVID-19 LAMP test. (Representational Image: AFP Photo)

Copenhagen: Days after Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has issued a warning to world leaders that the Covid-19 pandemic “is nowhere near over”,  WHO’s Europe director on Sunday said that the Omicron variant has moved the Covid-19 pandemic into a new phase and could bring it to an end in Europe.

Also Read:

Speaking to news agency AFP during an interview, the WHO’s Europe director Hans Kluge said, “It’s plausible that the region is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame.” He further added that Omicron could infect 60 percent of Europeans by March. Once the current surge of Omicron currently sweeping across Europe subsides, “there will be for quite some weeks and months a global immunity, either thanks to the vaccine or because people have immunity due to the infection, and also lowering seasonality.”

You may like to read

“We anticipate that there will be a period of quiet before Covid-19 may come back towards the end of the year, but not necessarily the pandemic coming back,” Kluge said.

Meanwhile, top US scientist Anthony Fauci expressed similar optimism on Sunday. During an ABC News talk show “This Week”, Fauci told that with Covid-19 cases coming down “rather sharply” in parts of the United States, “things are looking good”.

While cautioning against overconfidence, Fauci said that if the recent fall in case numbers in areas like the US’s northeast continues, “I believe that you will start to see a turnaround throughout the entire country”.

The WHO regional office for Africa also said last week that cases of Covid had plummeted in that region and deaths were declining for the first time since the Omicron-dominated fourth wave of the virus reached its peak.

The Omicron variant, which studies have shown is more contagious than Delta but generally leads to less severe infection among vaccinated people, has raised long-awaited hopes that Covid-19 is starting to shift from a pandemic to a more manageable endemic illness like seasonal flu. But Kluge cautioned that it was still too early to consider Covid-19 endemic.

“There is a lot of talk about endemic but endemic means…that it is possible to predict what’s going to happen. This virus has surprised (us) more than once so we have to be very careful,” Kluge said.  With Omicron spreading so widely, other variants could still emerge, he warned.

For breaking news and live news updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Read more on Latest US News on

Published Date: January 24, 2022 9:28 AM IST