Covid-19 cannot yet be referred to as an endemic disease, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official has said.
Dr. Catherine Smallwood, Covid-19 incident manager at the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told a virtual WHO Europe news conference Tuesday that Covid-19 is “still a way off” endemicity.
Smallwood explained endemicity assumes there is “stable circulation of the virus at predictable levels, and potentially known and predictable waves of epidemic transmission.”
“But what we're seeing at the moment coming into 2022 is nowhere near that, we still have a huge amount of uncertainty, we still have a virus that's evolving quite quickly and posing quite new challenges. So we're certainly not at the point of being able to call it endemic,” she went on.
“It may become endemic in due course, but pinning that down to 2022 is a little bit difficult at this stage,” Smallwood said, adding “all of this of course depends on how we respond to it and widespread vaccination uptake on an equitable basis will be very, very key in moving towards such a scenario.”