The WHO (World Health Organization) warns that the drop in tests on covid-19 threatens to open a new health crisis and leaves the planet “increasingly blind” in the face of the pandemic.
In a statement on Tuesday, the agency highlighted that the number of deaths from the virus has reached the lowest rate in 25 months, with 15,000 deaths. But the organization insists the pandemic is “not over” and urges governments to continue monitoring the virus.
“We are receiving less and less information about the number of cases and genetic sequencing,” warned Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO.
The drop in testing varies between 70% and 90% worldwide, according to Bill Rodrigues, CEO of FIND, the alliance for the promotion of diagnosis.
“This means that we are increasingly blind about the virus, given the drop in testing. The virus will not disappear just by not looking at it”, warned Tedros.
Two years after the creation of mechanisms for the distribution of vaccines and treatment, he insisted that the virus “remains deadly”. “Also, we don’t know the long-term impact,” he insisted.
The WHO alert comes at a time when Europe is signaling that it will also abandon its health emergency status and gradually withdraw some of the main control measures.
For the agency’s head of operations, Mike Ryan, the gesture is not “inconsistent” with the reality of the disease in the region. But he insisted this “is not the time to lose focus.”
Maria Van Kerhkove, technical director of the WHO, also sounds the alarm about the numbers that the world records. “We don’t have confidence,” she admitted. “The virus remains a global problem. This is not the time to back down,” she added.