WHO warns Omicron is not the last variant

2022-01-25 01:45:00 AM

WHO warns Omicron is not the last variant

WHO warns Omicron is not the last variant

The head of the World Health Organization says it is dangerous to assume the Omicron variant will herald the end of Covid-19’s acutest phase

24 January 2022 - 16:47Emma Farge and Mrinalika RoyPicture: 123RF/phonlamaiphotoGeneva — The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday that it was dangerous to assume the Omicron variant would herald the end of Covid-19’s acutest phase, exhorting nations to stay focused to beat the pandemic.

“It’s dangerous to assume that Omicron will be the last variant and that we are in the end game,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a WHO executive board meeting of the two-year pandemic that has killed nearly 6-million people.“On the contrary, globally the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge.”

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The head of the World Health Organisation says it is dangerous to assume the Omicron variant will herald the end of Covid-19’s acutest phase 24 January 2022 - 16:47 Emma Farge and Mrinalika Roy Picture: 123RF/phonlamaiphoto Geneva — The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday that it was dangerous to assume the Omicron variant would herald the end of Covid-19’s acutest phase, exhorting nations to stay focused to beat the pandemic.21 January 2022 - 06:00 Mia Malan and Danny Booysen Picture: 123RF/phonlamaiphoto Have you struggled to understand how bad SA’s Omicron wave has been? Or, are you wondering how to square SA’s low vaccination rates with its low hospitalisation rates? Dr Waasila Jassat heads up the hospital surveillance for the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.23 January 2022 - 22:43 Tracy Withers New Zealand moved to Covid-19 'red' alert on Sunday.24 January 2022 - 05:00 Lisa Jarvis Picture: BLOOMBERG Pfizer and Moderna are starting to churn out doses of Omicron-specific vaccines, and they say they could have data on whether the shots are effective as soon as March.

“It’s dangerous to assume that Omicron will be the last variant and that we are in the end game,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a WHO executive board meeting of the two-year pandemic that has killed nearly 6-million people. “On the contrary, globally the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge.  Listen to this short podcast to find out how gaps in the available data influence what we can learn from the country’s fourth Covid wave.” Though Omicron has sent total cases soaring to nearly 350-million, its less lethal impact and the increasing prevalence of vaccines has led to optimism in some parts that the worst of the pandemic may have passed. At this stage there is no date set for a review of those settings and “everyone should plan to be in red for some weeks”, she said. Tedros, the WHO’s first African head who is running unopposed for a second term , urged discipline and unity in combating the coronavirus. “TheCovid-19 pandemic is now entering its third year and we are at a critical juncture,” he told a news conference earlier. It’s certainly possible that the Omicron-specific vaccines that Pfizer and Moderna are working on will turn out to be useful, Anthony Fauci told me — at least for a while.

“We must work together to bring the acute phase of this pandemic to an end. While 93% of adults are now fully vaccinated, the evidence from neighbouring Australia shows that Omicron will still lead to a surge in infections. We cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect.” Germany biggest donor Countries must maximise strategies and tools already available, such as testing and inoculation, for the global health emergency to end this year, he said. Tedros’ bid for a second term received a boost when the WHO shelved a decision on his native Ethiopia’s request to investigate accusations of links to rebel forces. But the difference to previous outbreaks is that we are vaccinated and we are even better prepared. He told board members he was seeking an overhaul of the agency’s funding model, with Germany now the largest donor, supplanting Washington which had accused the WHO of pro-China bias under former President Donald Trump’s administration. Virus experts have been “humbled” by the range of mutations this coronavirus can produce, says Penny Moore, a virologist at University of the Witwatersrand in SA.

The US is resisting a financing proposal that would make the UN health body more independent, raising doubts about the Biden administration’s long-term support. Reuters . It’s not a lockdown, with businesses able to remain open and people allowed to travel freely.