Global Cases, Deaths Declining… ‘Pandemic phase’ ending soon?

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Weekly coronavirus cases and deaths around the world have been declining since August, according to a World Health Organization report.

Last week, over 3.1 million new cases were reported – a 9% decline over the previous week.

“All regions reported a decline in the number of new cases this week apart from the European Region which reported a number similar to that of the previous week,” the report said.

Most regions also showed a large decline in COVID-19 deaths except for the Americas and Europe, which reported a similar number of deaths compared to previous weeks. The Africa region reported the highest decline in weekly deaths.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Wednesday he expects the coronavirus’ “pandemic phase” to be over in the U.S. once vaccines become available for children and Merck’s antiviral pill is cleared by regulators.

The other crucial development is for the highly transmissible Covid delta variant to have “moved through the country,” which is likely to conclude around Thanksgiving, Gottlieb told CNBC’s David Faber in a “Squawk on the Street” interview from 13D Monitor’s Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York City.

“On the back end of that, we’re going to have, hopefully, a vaccine available for children and, at some point before the end of the year, we probably will have the orally available drug from Merck if things go well and that undergoes a favorable review,” said Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who now serves on the board of Covid vaccine maker Pfizer, which is also working on an antiviral pill.

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