The U.N. health agency has previously said that the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year, but it would depend on how quickly we meet its target to vaccinate 70% of the population in each country, among other factors.
This photograph taken on March 5, 2021, shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ( FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Asked by a journalist at a Geneva media briefing about the timing of the pandemic’s end, Margaret Harris said it was “far from over”. “We are definitely in the middle of the pandemic,” she added.
A combination of factors was causing the increases, including the highly transmissible omicron variant and its cousin the BA.2 sub-variant, and the lifting of public health and social measures, the WHO said.