Covid pandemic 'nowhere near over': WHO

19/1/2022 11:45:00 AM

'The narrative that (Omicron) is a mild disease is misleading,' said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Omicron

'The narrative that ( Omicron ) is a mild disease is misleading,' said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan.

The Covid -19 pandemic is far from over, the World Health Organization chief said Tuesday, cautioning against a narrative that the fast-spreading Omicron variant is risk-free.

That has triggered a debate on whether the virus is on the verge of passing from the pandemic phase to becoming an endemic disease that humanity can live with -- with the implication that the danger will have passed."An exponential rise in cases, regardless of the severity of the individual variants, leads to inevitable increase in hospitalisations and deaths," WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told Tuesday's press conference.

"Make no mistake: Omicron is causing hospitalisations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating health facilities."Tedros said there was an urgent need to remove the pressure building on health systems, especially in countries that still have low vaccination coverage.

Read more: Yahoo Singapore »

w34r4m45k Hey Michael, take a hike

1,448 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore; 589 Omicron infections confirmedSINGAPORE — Singapore reported 1,448 new Covid -19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 18), comprising 990 local infections and 458 imported ones. Possibly 3k to 5k by the time we reached CNY

1,448 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore; 589 Omicron infections confirmedSINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,448 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 18), comprising 990 local infections and 458 imported ones. There were no fatalities, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of Health\u0027s (MOH) Omg but still not lockdown because CNY coming Yet they have been richly paid in millions for such outcomes

Analysis-China's 'zero-COVID' campaign under strain as Omicron surgesChina is doubling down on its 'zero-COVID' strategy, saying the spread of the potentially milder Omicron variant is no reason to lower its guard amid warnings of economic disruptions and even public unrest as lockdowns drag into a third year. As other countries talk about a transition from 'pandemic' to 'endemic', China has stepped up policies to stamp out any new outbreak as soon as it arises, sealing off cities, shutting transport links and launching mass testing programmes. The approach has kept infections at a minimum, but some experts warn that China could become the victim of its own success as a lack of exposure to COVID-19 over the last two years leaves it vulnerable to the more infectious Omicron .

Australia suffers deadliest day of Covid-19 pandemic as Omicron drives up hospital casesSYDNEY — Australia suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic on Tuesday (Jan 18) as a fast-moving Omicron outbreak continued to push up hospitalisation rates to record levels, even as daily infections eased slightly.

1,165 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore; 609 Omicron infections confirmedSINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,165 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Monday (Jan 17), including 534 imported infections. There were no fatalities, and the death toll from coronavirus complications remains at 843, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of iamkarenpang hmmm, seems like omicron wave is hitting SH now omicron sasuey!! So many imported cases

1,165 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore; Omicron cases downSee I told y'all it'll pass all vaccinated 💉 💉 💉 🖕🖕🖕

"This pandemic is nowhere near over," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters from the WHO's headquarters in Geneva.There were no fatalities, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) .SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,448 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 18), comprising 990 local infections and 458 imported ones.Read full article 17 January 2022, 1:21 pm · 4-min read Security guards wearing protective masks walk on a street, following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai By David Stanway SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China is doubling down on its "zero-COVID" strategy, saying the spread of the potentially milder Omicron variant is no reason to lower its guard amid warnings of economic disruptions and even public unrest as lockdowns drag into a third year.

The UN health agency chief warned against dismissing as mild the coronavirus variant Omicron, which has spread like wildfire around the globe since it was first detected in southern Africa in November. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is much more contagious than previous strains but seems to cause less serious disease. Tuesday's case count is up from the 1,165 reported on Monday. That has triggered a debate on whether the virus is on the verge of passing from the pandemic phase to becoming an endemic disease that humanity can live with -- with the implication that the danger will have passed. Tuesday's case count is up from the 1,165 reported on Monday . But the WHO has warned that the sheer numbers of people infected will mean many people are still falling seriously ill and dying.76, up from Monday's 1. - Misleading narrative - "An exponential rise in cases, regardless of the severity of the individual variants, leads to inevitable increase in hospitalisations and deaths," WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told Tuesday's press conference.S.

Tedros agreed. A figure above 1 means that the number of new weekly cases is rising.60. "Omicron may be less severe, on average, but the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading," he said. "Make no mistake: Omicron is causing hospitalisations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating health facilities. This is presented as a separate set of data from the daily Covid-19 cases." He said there were indications that the Omicron-fuelled surge of Covid cases may have peaked in some countries. This is presented as a separate set of data from the daily COVID-19 cases. This, he said, "gives hope that the worst of this latest wave is done with, but no country is out of the woods yet. HOSPITALISATIONS AND VACCINATIONS There are 247 patients in hospital, with 16 requiring oxygen supplementation. He Qinghua, a disease prevention official at China's National Health Commission (NHC), said that while the country is under increasing strain from imported infections, it is still well-equipped to contain the virus.

" Tedros said there was an urgent need to remove the pressure building on health systems, especially in countries that still have low vaccination coverage. "Now is not the time to give up and wave the white flag," he said. As of Monday, 91 per cent of Singapore's eligible population have completed their full vaccination regimen under the national vaccination programme. Thirteen patients are in the intensive care unit. Story continues "We can still significantly reduce the impact of the current wave by sharing and using health tools effectively, and implementing public health and social measures that we know work." - 45,000 weekly Covid deaths - Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on Covid, agreed, pointing out that some 45,000 deaths from the disease were still being registered worldwide every week. About 53 per cent of the total population have received their vaccine booster shots. "That shouldn't be happening, because we have tools at hand," she told reporters. China has become a victim of its own success and is now struggling to find a way out, the U.

Data indicate that existing Covid vaccines are less effective in protecting against Omicron transmission than against previous strains. Some pharmaceutical companies are in the process of making vaccines that better target the variant, but WHO said that was not necessarily the way out of the crisis. While the idea of variant-specific vaccines might be enticing, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan cautioned that since they take months to develop, "the danger is that you will be always trying to play catch-up with the next variant." A better approach, therefore, she said, might be to try to develop so-called "multivalent vaccines or, ideally, to have a pan-coronavirus vaccine." In the meantime, WHO stressed that the existing vaccines still do a good job of protecting against developing severe Covid disease, reiterating the importance of ensuring broader, more equitable access to the jabs. That provoked an angry response from the official China Daily on Friday, which described it as "a ridiculous conjecture full of political bias".

"Vaccines may be less effective at preventing infection and transmission of Omicron than they were for previous variants, but they still are exceptionally good at preventing serious disease and death," Tedros said. Health experts warn that allowing Covid to spread unabated in some places dramatically increases the chance of new, more dangerous variants emerging. "With the incredible growth of Omicron globally, new variants are likely to emerge," Tedros cautioned. nl-apo/rjm/pvh .