The head of the World Health Organization on Thursday tempered his assertion that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was near, warning that declaring the crisis over was "still a long way off".
Last week, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the world had "never been in a better position to end the pandemic... The end is in sight."
And US President Joe Biden went further in an interview broadcast Sunday, declaring that the pandemic in the United States "is over".
But speaking to the media again Thursday from the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Tedros appeared less upbeat, making clear that "being able to see the end, doesn't mean we are at the end."
He reiterated that the world was in the best position it had ever been in to end the pandemic, with the number of weekly deaths continuing to drop -- and now just 10 percent of what they were at the peak in January 2021.
Tedros pointed out that two-thirds of the world's population has been vaccinated, including three-quarters of health workers and older people.
"We have spent two-and-a-half years in a long, dark tunnel, and we are just beginning to glimpse the light at the end of that tunnel," he said.
But, he stressed, "it is still a long way off, and the tunnel is still dark, with many obstacles that could trip us up if we don't take care."
"We're still in the tunnel."
In its latest epidemiological update, the WHO said over 9,800 fatalities were reported last week, down 17 percent from a week earlier, while 3.2 million new cases were reported.
The UN health agency has warned that the falling number of reported cases is deceptive, since many countries have cut back on testing and may not be detecting less serious cases.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on Covid, told reporters the virus is still "circulating at an intense level," although the situation varied in different countries.
But she pointed out that the world has the tools needed to rein in the spread.
"Our goal is to end the emergency in all countries. And we will keep at this until we reach that goal," she said.
Since the start of the pandemic, the WHO has tallied more than 609 million cases and some 6.5 million deaths, though the true toll is believed to be substantially higher.
A WHO study published in May based on excess mortality seen in various countries during the pandemic estimated that up to 17 million people may have died from Covid in 2020 and 2021.
Death toll in Bangladesh boat tragedy reaches 51
Two soldiers embrace martyrdom in clash with terrorists in South Waziristan
Canadian Ambassador meets army chief Bajwa, offers full support for flood victims
Ishaq Dar arrives in Pakistan along with PM Shehbaz
Russia prepares to formally annex 15pc of Ukraine
Rabiul Awwal moon not sighted, Eid Miladun Nabi to be celebrated on October 9
Winter activity and political turmoil!
Government, opposition and public!
Present regime and dengue!
The repetition of history and the hidden sciences!
Whispers, rumors and rulers' narrative!
News Headlines | 12 AM | 27 September, 2022 | GNN
اسحاق ڈار کی واپسی کس ڈیل کے تحت ہورہی ہے؟ڈاکٹر اشفاق حسن نے حقائق سے پردہ اُٹھا دیا | Ashfaq Hassan
Exclusive Interview of CM Punjab Ch Pervaiz Elahi On News Edge with Fereeha Idress | GNN
Live With Dr. Shahid Masood | GNN | 26 September 2022 | Inside Story Of Leaked Audio | Ishaq Dar
News Headlines | 09 PM | 26 September, 2022 | GNN
اسحاق ڈار کس ڈیل کے تحت وطن واپس آئے،ڈاکٹر شاہد مسعود بڑی ڈیل منظر عام پر لے آئے| Dr Shahid Masood
Pakistan 16 hours ago
Six Army officials martyred in Balochistan helicopter crash
Pakistan 2 days ago
Islamabad police arrest senior journalist Ayaz Amir in Sara murder case
Pakistan 2 days ago
'Real freedom' movement once started won't stop until date of transparent elections announced: Imran
World 2 days ago
NASA abandons Tuesday Moon launch due to tropical storm
World 1 day ago
Powerful storm Fiona hits Canada's Nova Scotia, causing 'terrifying' destruction
World 2 days ago
Boat carrying migrants from Lebanon sinks off Syria, leaving over 80 dead
Sports 1 day ago
Pakistan vs England 4th T20 to be played today
Regional 2 days ago
Two soldiers martyred after indigenous bomb explodes in North Waziristan: ISPR