Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director

Cairo, Egypt, 1 May 2022 — As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, almost 2 billion Muslims in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and around the world will soon celebrate the Eid al-Fitr feast. On this occasion, I would like to wish everyone in the Region and beyond a blessed, happy, safe, and healthy Eid. 

This is the third Eid al-Fitr feast that we mark during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our daily lives continue to be affected by this unprecedented public health emergency. Tragically, some of us will celebrate this year without the presence of family members or loved ones. To those who have faced unimaginable loss, I send my most sincere condolences.

More than 2 years into the pandemic, we cannot let the current situation become the status quo, or allow ourselves to give in to complacency. Current generations deserve to live in a better world where the virus is contained, and lives are lived to the fullest; and future generations deserve to be armed with the knowledge and tools needed to prevent future pandemics that can cause immense fear, grief, and severe disruptions to livelihoods and economies. 

Many of us are tired, and long to live in a world where face masks, physical distancing, school closures and restrictions on travel are no longer the norm. But our personal comfort should not put others at risk of severe illness or death. Having COVID-19 be a part

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