As of mid-2022, COVID-19 had infected more than 500 million people worldwide. The latest estimates show that global “excess deaths” directly and indirectly attributable to COVID-19 could have been as high as 15 million by the end of 2021.
The pandemic has severely disrupted essential health services, triggered an increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression, lowered global life expectancy, derailed progress towards ending HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, and halted two decades of work towards making health coverage universal.
As a result, immunization coverage dropped for the first time in 10 years, and deaths from TB and malaria increased. Urgent and concerted action is needed to set the world back on a trajectory towards achieving Goal 3.