Build momentum to ‘finish the job’ and end COVID-19 pandemic, Guterres urges
(United Nations News) Senior UN officials, including Secretary-General António Guterres, took part in a High-Level event at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, noting the encouraging progress that has been made towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic, while acknowledging that work still needs to be done to ensure the most vulnerable are protected.
Mr. Guterres celebrated rising vaccination coverage worldwide, particularly among high-risk populations, and the fact that, on average, countries have vaccinated around three-quarters of health care workers and older people.
COVID-19 measures are increasingly integrated into routine health programmes, and new antiviral drugs are about to become available.
However, gaps in coverage and protection remain, said Mr, Guterres. There is minimal vaccine booster coverage in all countries, and there are low vaccination rates in poorer countries. He also warned of a “shadow pandemic” of vaccine hesitancy, and misinformation, that needs to be tackled.
The UN chief also called for testing rates to be drastically improved, and for countries to ensure they are fully prepared for future pandemics. “Making progress towards closing these gaps is what today is all about, declared Mr. Guterres. “It’s time to build political momentum to finish the job on COVID-19”.
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