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The most recent on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant

World Well being Group Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks throughout a press convention in December. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

It’s harmful to imagine that there will probably be no extra Covid-19 variants after Omicron or that the world is ultimately recreation of the pandemic, World Well being Group Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated Monday. 

“There are completely different eventualities for a way the pandemic may play out and the way the acute part may finish. However it’s harmful to imagine that Omicron would be the final variant or that we’re ultimately recreation,” Tedros stated through the one hundred and fiftieth session of the WHO govt board on Monday. “Quite the opposite, globally, the situations are perfect for extra variants to emerge.”

“To vary the course of the pandemic, we should change the situations which might be driving it,” Tedros continued, including that the WHO acknowledges everyone seems to be bored with the pandemic and restrictions, that companies and economies are hurting and that “many governments are strolling a tightrope, trying to stability what’s efficient with what is suitable to their individuals.” 

Each nation is in a singular state of affairs, he stated, “and should chart its manner out of the acute part of the pandemic with a cautious, stepwise strategy,” one thing that does not have straightforward solutions. 

If WHO assets — together with proof, methods and assist — are utilized in a complete manner, the world may see not solely an finish to the acute part of the pandemic, however an finish to Covid-19 as a worldwide well being emergency this 12 months, he stated. 

However that requires reaching excessive vaccinations charges, equitable well being care and rising sequencing skills, he stated:

“What does that appear to be? It means reaching our goal to vaccinate 70% of the inhabitants of each nation, with a deal with essentially the most at-risk teams. It means lowering mortality by way of robust medical administration starting with major well being care and equitable entry to diagnostics, oxygen and antivirals on the level of care. It means boosting testing and sequencing charges globally to trace the virus carefully and monitor the emergence of latest variants. It means the power to calibrate using public well being and social measures when wanted. It means restoring and sustaining important well being companies. And it means studying essential classes and defining new options now, not ready till the pandemic is over,” he stated. 

It’s “astonishing” that Covid-19 vaccines work so effectively towards stopping hospitalization and demise, together with with Omicron, WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkhove stated throughout a social media dwell Q&A session on Tuesday, underscoring that it’s essential for individuals to be vaccinated.

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“Vaccine fairness is completely essential, but it surely’s not vaccine fairness in just some nations,” she stated. “There are challenges in each single nation about reaching those that are most in danger, excessive revenue in addition to low revenue.” 

“However the truth stays that greater than three billion individuals haven’t obtained their first dose but, so we’ve a protracted option to go,” she stated. 

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