More than 3.3 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19 this year – more deaths than from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined in 2020.

It was stated by the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus during the first hybrid press conference held by the WHO for journalists from the United Nation in Geneva.

He said the novel coronavirus continues to claim around 50,000 lives worldwide every week, but he told journalists that “2022 should be the year we end the pandemic” with the tools the world has at its disposal.

The head of WHO also spoke about the latest variant of COVID-19 that has hit the world, saying “there is no consistent evidence that omicron is spreading significantly faster than the delta variant.”

He said that there are also unreported deaths and the millions of excess deaths caused by disruptions to essential health services.

Just one month ago, he explained that Africa was reporting its lowest number of cases in 18 months.

The WHO chief also noted that people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 are more likely to become infected or reinfected from the omicron variant.

He said that all of us are sick of this pandemic. All of us want to spend time with friends and family. All of us want to get back to normal.

WHO cautioned that many countries traditionally plan gatherings that can draw crowds over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and suggested they should reconsider events.

The head of WHO added that countries should be more careful and restrict mass crowds during this festival period. Postponing such organizations during this period will save more lives.

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