The COVID emergency may be over — but when will the pandemic end? – CBC

Emerging variants, rising hospitalizations threaten overburdened health-care system

Oct 15, 2022

COVID-19 may no longer be seen as the global emergency it once was, but with highly contagious new subvariants emerging that have the potential to drive future waves at a time when the health-care system is already overburdened — when will the pandemic end?

“So much of the world, so many of us just so desperately want this to be over, but unfortunately it’s not,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for COVID-19, said in an interview with CBC News.

“We’re still in the middle of this, in a sense, but we have never been as close to the end.”

The uncertainty around the end of the pandemic lies with the virus itself, which continues to rapidly mutate with more than 300 Omicron subvariants currently being tracked by the WHO worldwide, Van Kerkhove said.

“The virus is evolving and it’s unpredictable,” she added. “We don’t know exactly what the characteristics of the next variant will be.”

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