While the head of the World Health Organization says the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is “in sight,” some Canadian experts warn it would be premature to declare the global health crisis over.
Their comments come after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced Wednesday that the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 worldwide in the last week reached the lowest point since the pandemic’s onset.
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He also urged governments to stay vigilant so we don’t backslide at a pivotal moment.
Dr. Fahad Razak, who headed up the recently disbanded group of scientists advising Ontario’s government on COVID-19, says coronavirus variants have traditionally cropped up during the fall and winter, leading to a surge in cases and deaths.
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He says it stands to reason that could happen again this year.
Razak says if we don’t see a new wave during the peak COVID season, then experts may be more willing to declare the end of the pandemic in the spring.
But Colin Furness, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana school of public health, says the pandemic is still wreaking havoc, leading to excess death and a labour shortage that’s further stunting the already strained health-care system.
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