While warnings of virus mutations and “third waves” are being published all over Europe, the WHO has been talking about a trend in the opposite direction for weeks. Some are already talking about an end to the exceptional situation later this year – without vaccination at all. According to WHO officials, the Corona situation, which it itself declared a global pandemic, had already peaked in the second week of January.
Since then, not only the number of people tested positive per day, but also the number of people who died from or with corona has practically dropped by half within a month. This trend can be observed in all regions of the world, with the exception of the eastern Mediterranean. Nevertheless, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against slackening too quickly in the fight against the virus:
“Now we need to sustain the positive trend. The fire is not out yet, and if we don’t keep fighting it, it will come back blazing.”
In contrast, the WHO Director-General for Europe, Hans Henri Kluge from Belgium, was more optimistic. Speaking on Danish national television, he expressed confidence that Corona would be overcome within a few months. The mutations that occur are “normal” and do not lead to the virus getting out of control. The “infection rates” in countries with high incidences of mutations fell just as sharply as elsewhere. The worst-case scenarios are over, he said. Kluge elaborated: “There will still be a virus, but I don’t think restrictions will be necessary. That is an optimistic statement.”
However, the WHO does not provide a clear explanation as to what could be the reason for the decline in the “incidence of infection”. Vaccinations, however, cannot be attributed to it, as only a fraction of the world’s population has been vaccinated so far. Instead, three possible reasons are given for the observed development:
Firstly, the precautionary and hygiene measures applied in many countries are having an effect. Secondly, there are increasingly regions with advanced immunisation of the population (such as the USA, Sweden and Brazil), since a large part of the population has already been infected once and thus slows down the further spread. Thirdly, the evolution of mutations means that virus mutants can become not only more dangerous, but also more harmless.
Several other medical experts apparently share this assessment. For example, the virologist Friedemann Weber of the University of Giessen said
“Already spring 2021 should be noticeably more carefree, summer already almost back to normal and autumn as good as normal.”