World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the world before the New Year, reminding people that the global coronavirus threat has officially completed 12 months.

He further said that the pandemic’s unprecedented disruption to families, economies, and societies have also triggered the fastest and most wide-reaching response to a global health emergency in human history.

The director-general said in a statement: “Vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics have been developed and rolled out, at record speed, thanks to collaborations including the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator. Equity is the essence of the ACT Accelerator, and its vaccine arm, COVAX, which has secured access to 2 billion doses of promising vaccine candidates.”

Tedros believes that the vaccines offer great hope to turn the tide of the pandemic. He said, to protect the world, countries should strive to inoculate all people at risk everywhere – not just in countries that can afford vaccines – are immunised.

We must keep adhering to tried and tested measures that keep each and all of us safe. This means maintaining physical distance, wearing face masks, practising hand and respiratory hygiene, avoiding crowded indoor places, and meeting people outside, he added.

The WHO director concluded: “There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get there by taking the path together. WHO stands with you – We Are Family and we are In This Together. I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful, safe, and healthy new year.”