The Omicron variant of COVID-19 kills people around the world and should not be dismissed as mild, the World Health Organization claimed Thursday.
WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a record number of people catching new variants that are rapidly surpassing the previously predominant Delta variants in many countries are overwhelming hospitals.
“Omicron appears to be less severe than Delta, especially in vaccinated people, but that doesn’t mean it should be classified mildly,” Tedros said in a press conference.
“As with previous varieties, Omicron is hospitalizing people and killing people,” he explained.
“In fact, the tsunami in the incident is so big and fast that it’s overwhelming. Medical system In the world. “
Last week, just under 9.5 million new COVID-19 cases were reported to WHO. This is a record of 71% increase from the previous week.
But this was still underestimated, Tedros said. It didn’t reflect the Christmas and New Year test backlogs, unregistered positive self-tests, and missing cases of overload monitoring systems.
Vaccination target slips off
Using his first speech in 2022, Tedros said last year that rich countries blamed the method of monopolizing available vaccine doses and created a perfect breeding ground for the emergence of viral variants. I did.
Therefore, he urged the world to share vaccine doses more equitably in 2022 to end the “death and destruction” of COVID-19.
Tedros wanted all countries to vaccinate 10% of the population by the end of September 2021 and 40% by the end of December.
Ninety-two of WHO’s 194 member states failed to meet the goals set at the end of 2021. In fact, 36 states did not jab the first 10 percent, primarily due to lack of access to doses.
Tedros wants 70% jabs in all countries by mid-2022.
At the current pace of vaccine deployment, 109 countries are unable to reach that goal.
“Vaccine inequity is a killer of people and work, which undermines the global economic recovery,” Tedros said.
“Boosters after boosters in a few countries will not end the pandemic while billions remain completely defenseless.”
Omicron is not the end
Maria Vankelhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical leader, said Omicron is “very unlikely” to be the last concern before the pandemic is over.
By facing the more contagious Omicron MutantWankelhoff urged people to step up the measures they have already taken to protect themselves from the virus.
“Do everything we have advised, better, more comprehensive, and more intentional,” she said.
“We need people to hang there and really fight.”
Van Kerhof added that she was surprised at how sloppy she was. Man I wore a face mask.
“It needs to cover your nose and mouth … wearing a mask under your chin is useless,” she said.
Looking ahead to this year, WHO frontman Bruce Aylward on access to coronavirus tools added, “You don’t have to finish 2022 in a pandemic.”
But without vaccine fairness, WHO emergency director Michael Ryan said, “We’ll be sitting here at the end of 2022 and having the same conversation. It’s a big tragedy in itself. Probably. ”
© 2022 AFP
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