WHO warns that omicron is expanding “at a rate that we have not seen in any of the previous strains” | Society


The omicron variant of the causative coronavirus of COVID-19 has already been detected in 77 countries, although it is probably already present throughout the world, and is expanding “at a rate that we had not seen in any of the previous strains,” according to the World Organization of Health (WHO).

“It is probably already in most countries, even in those that have not yet been detected,” acknowledged at a press conference the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who expressed concern that a large part of society has let your guard down in the face of this evolution of the virus. “People are considering that the omicron variant is associated with less severe cases, but we have learned before that underestimating this virus is dangerous,” said the Ethiopian expert.

“Even if omicron causes fewer serious cases, a sharp increase in infections can again collapse health systems that are not sufficiently prepared,” warned the head of the Geneva-based organization.

Tedros insisted that “vaccines alone are not going to get any country out of this crisis”, since the transmission of the coronavirus must be dealt with by other means, including the use of masks, avoiding crowded places, good ventilation or hand hygiene. “Practice all of this, consistently, and in the right way,” insisted the CEO.

An equitable distribution of the doses before the third

On the other hand, Tedros Adhanom He also insisted that it is a priority that anti-COVID vaccines reach populations that have not yet received the first regimen, rather than providing booster doses in countries with high immunization rates. “The WHO is not against booster doses, but we are against inequality,” he said at a press conference, given the growing number of countries that have begun to give these doses to their entire adult population in response to the increase in cases and the alarm for the new omicron variant, more contagious than the previous ones.

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Tedros warned that these campaigns are being launched “even though there is still no evidence on the effectiveness of booster doses against the new variant” and stressed that these measures can repeat the problems of excessive accumulation of vaccines in certain countries while not in others. these drugs arrive.

The expert admitted that booster vaccines (towards which the WHO has called for a moratorium until the end of the year) “can play an important role for people at risk of contracting serious or lethal forms of COVID-19”, but stressed that the main His agency’s concern now is “saving lives around the world.”

“Giving booster shots to groups not at risk of severe COVID-19 endangers the lives of those in danger who are still waiting for their first dose,” he said. Tedros recalled that about a hundred countries on the planet have not yet reached 40% of their population vaccinated against COVID-19, a percentage that the WHO expected to reach before the end of the year in all territories, to achieve 70 % in mid-2022.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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