September 28, 2022
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The Director of the World Health Organization warns that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet

Speaking of the explosion of new cases caused by the omicron variant, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of the potential for new strains to emerge.



Give RFIThe Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has expressed concern about optimistic expectations for the end of the epidemic that have doubled in recent days. Speaking about the incendiary increase in new cases caused by the omicron variant, the specialist warned about the possibility of the emergence of new strains.

“Omicron continues to spread across the planet. Make no mistake, Omicron causes hospitalizations, deaths, and even less severe cases overwhelm healthcare facilities,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

Therefore, the Director-General of the organization calls for caution on the part of those who predict optimistically about the disease. “This epidemic is not over yet, and given the astonishing growth of omicrons in the world, new variables are likely to emerge,” he stressed.

The United Kingdom recently announced that it has reached its peak of infections and is recording a decrease in hospitalizations. On the other hand, France calculates that it will reach the peak of infection in a few days. This data, however, needs to be relative, Ghebreyesus said.

He noted that “in some countries, cases of Covid-19 appear to have reached their peak, which raises hopes that the worst of this wave is over, but no country has yet rid itself of the micron.”

After a glowing wave of alternative in Europe, Latin America became the new target for Omicron. Argentina is the country with the largest number of cases in the region: between January 8 and 15, the country accumulated 2481 cases per million inhabitants. In total, 63% of tests were positive per day in the country which also has the highest positive rate of Covid-19 in the world.

endemic disease?

In Europe, many authorities have spoken of the possibility that Covid-19 could become endemic, like the flu. This is the case of the European Health Agency’s head of vaccine strategy, Marco Cavalieri, who said, on January 11, that it would be necessary to learn how to live with the disease. He declared, “With increased immunity in the population and with the micron, there will be more natural immunity after vaccination. We will move quickly to a scenario closer to endemicity.”

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset recently said that the Omicron variant could be the “beginning of the end” of the pandemic. Spain also intends to manage this new phase of the health crisis such as the epidemic of seasonal influenza, and to protect the most vulnerable population. For this reason, the Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Daria, called on European leaders to amend the infection registration system and search for “new horizons”.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization believes that it is too early for such predictions. “Omicron may be less severe on average, but talk of it as a benign alternative is misleading, undermining the global response and costing lives,” he said.

Ghebreyesus also expressed concern about the low rates of immunization against Covid-19 in many countries. “People are at risk of developing severe forms of disease or death if they are not vaccinated,” he stressed.

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