WHO warns against treating COVID as “endemic” – Axios

The World Health Organization warned Tuesday against treating COVID-19 as an “endemic” illness.

Driving the news: “We still have a huge amount of uncertainty and a virus that is evolving quite quickly, imposing new challenges,” Catherine Smallwood, WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, said during a Tuesday press briefing.

  • “We are certainly not at the point where we are able to call it endemic. It may become endemic in due course, but pinning that down to 2022 is a little bit difficult at this stage,” Smallwood said.

The big picture: The remarks come after Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for a debate in Europe to move away from a detailed COVID-19 tracking system and more toward a flu-like monitoring system, AP reports.

  • “I believe that we have the conditions for, with precaution, slowly, opening the debate … to start evaluating the evolution of this disease with different parameters than we have until now,” Sánchez said.

What she’s saying: “All of this of course depends on how we respond to it. Widespread vaccination uptake … will be very, very key in moving toward such a scenario and we’re still a way off that,” Smallwood said.

Go deeper: What next for COVID-19 in year 3: A new reality

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WHO warns against treating COVID as “endemic” – Axios

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