Early signs of COVID-19 heading towards ‘endgame’: WHO

20101108 – GENK, BELGIUM : Hans Kluge (Acting Director, Division of Health Systems and Public Health, WHO-Europe) pictured at the Regions for health network conference, on the first of the two-days event, Monday 08 November 2010, in C-Mine in Genk. BELGA PHOTO YORICK JANSENS

The World Health Organization for the first time in a while indicated that the pandemic could come to an ‘end’ in Europe after the current Omicron-driven wave passes over after infecting around 60 per cent of the population of the continent.

“It is plausible that the region is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame,” Hans Kluge told AFP, although urging necessary caution due to the virus’s ability to mutate.

The Omicron variant, which studies have shown generally leads to less severe infection among vaccinated people than Delta, has raised long-awaited hopes that COVID-19 is starting to shift from a pandemic to a more manageable endemic illness like seasonal flu.

The WHO official’s comments instil some hope for Europe.

“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.

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.