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The director general of the WHO has affirmed that it is not yet known if the omicron variant is associated with a greater ease of contagion or reinfection, with more serious cases or with greater resistance to vaccines.
The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stressed this Monday that the global emergency due to the new omicron variant of the coronavirus shows that the global health crisis “is not over” and the situation “it is still dangerous and precarious“.
“It is another reminder that although some think that the covid has ended, it is not, we continue to live cycles of panic and forgetfulness in which progress made with great effort can be lost,” said Tedros at the opening of an extraordinary assembly of WHO to negotiate a pandemic preparedness treaty.
The Ethiopian expert has stated that South Africa and Botswana, the first countries that reported cases of the new variant, “should be grateful for it, not penalized”, in the sense that many governments have suspended air links with those and other southern African territories.
“The current system discourages countries from alerting others of possible threats“Tedros lamented in view of what happened with those countries, pointing out that” this shows that the world needs a new pandemic preparedness agreement “in which these problematic issues are corrected.
The CEO has stated that It is not yet known whether the omicron variant is associated with greater ease of transmission or reinfection., to more severe cases or greater resistance to vaccines, although he stressed that “scientists around the world are working around the clock to answer these questions.”
In addition, he added that “the world should not need a wake-up call” like the one generated by the variant to remain alert in a crisis that “tests the world’s ability to prevent and respond to future pandemics.”
Tedros has emphasized that inequality in the distribution of vaccines keep showing the management errors in the current pandemic, in which “80% of the doses in the world have gone to the G20 countries.”
“Low-income countries, mostly in Africa, have received just 0.6% of all vaccines,” he lamented, warning that more than a hundred nations have not yet achieved the goal of immunizing at least one 40% of its population, something that the WHO wanted to achieve in all territories before the end of the year.
“We understand that each government has a responsibility to protect its people, it is natural, but equality in distribution of vaccines It is not a charity event, it is something that interests all countries because no one can get out of this pandemic alone“, has assured.
“As long as inequality in vaccines continues, the virus will have opportunities to spread and evolve in ways that we cannot predict or prevent,” the WHO chief executive has warned.
“There have been as many plagues as wars in history, but plagues and wars always take people equally by surprise,” he pointed out on twitter.
“There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues & wars take people equally by surprise.”
Omicron’s emergence remind us of how perilous & precarious our situation is. We should be wide awake to the threat of this virus. #WHASpecial https://t.co/QHvdd6SoGJ pic.twitter.com/lSougJ0gts
– Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) November 29, 2021