By Joseph Ayinde
The World Health Organization (WHO) is hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic will end in 2022.
Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus expressed optimism at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Coronavirus emerged in December 2019 and has since claimed many lives across the world.
In official figures, more than 1.8 million deaths were recorded in 2020 and 3.5 million in 2021.
According to John Hopkin University data, total coronavirus cases and deaths are 284,421,457 and 5,421,278 as of December 30.
With Delta and Omicron producing an increased number of cases, the WHO called for strict adherence to vaccination and safety protocols.
Ghebreyesus said he was “highly concerned” that the Omicron, more transmissible, is circulating at the same time as Delta.
Last year, the WHO charged leaders to vaccinate 40 percent of citizens by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by the middle of 2022.
But with hours left in 2021, 92 out of 194 member states missed the target due to low-income countries receiving a limited supply.
“This is the time to rise above short-term nationalism and protect populations and economies against future variants by ending global vaccine inequity.
“We have 185 days to the finish line of achieving 70 per cent by the start of July 2022. And the clock starts now”, Ghebreyesus urged.