GENEVA: Many countries haven’t reached their peak in circumstances of the extremely transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus and measures imposed to curb its unfold should be eased slowly, the World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 mentioned on Tuesday (Feb 1).
“We are urging caution because many countries have not gone through the peak of Omicron yet. Many countries have low levels of vaccination coverage with very vulnerable individuals within their populations,” Maria Van Kerkhove instructed a web based briefing.
“And so now is not the time to lift everything all at once. We have always urged, always (be) very cautious, in applying interventions as well as lifting those interventions in a steady and in a slow way, piece by piece. Because this virus is quite dynamic,” she added.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned the UN company was involved a couple of narrative taking maintain in some countries that “due to vaccines, and due to Omicron’s excessive transmissibility and decrease severity, stopping transmission is not doable, and not needed.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Tedros instructed the briefing. “More transmission means more deaths. We are not calling for any country to return to so-called lockdown. But we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit, not vaccines alone.”
He added: “It’s premature for any country to surrender or to declare victory.”
WHO’s emergencies chief Mike Ryan, addressing the identical briefing, urged countries to chart their very own path out of the pandemic and never blindly observe others in enjoyable measures.
“I think it’s a transition phase for many countries, not every country in the same situation. Those countries who are making decisions to open up more broadly also need to be sure of capacity to reintroduce measures, with community acceptance, if needed. So as if we open the doors quickly, you better be very well able to close them very quickly as well.”
Denmark and Austria final week turned the most recent countries to loosen up COVID-19 restrictions, after comparable strikes by Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands, although different European nations deliberate new curbs to battle file numbers of infections.
In a separate on-line briefing earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Boris Pavlin of WHO’s COVID-19 Response Team mentioned the rising BA.2 type of Omicron doesn’t appear to be any extra extreme than the unique BA.1 kind. The international response to the pandemic has created tens of hundreds of tonnes of medical waste, together with discarded syringes, used take a look at kits and outdated vaccine bottles, threatening human well being and the surroundings, a WHO report mentioned.