‘No country out of the danger zone’: pandemic is far from over, warns WHO

‘No country out of the danger zone’: pandemic is far from over, warns WHO
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, credit WHO

The coronavirus pandemic “is far from over,” said the Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organisation (WHO) during a press conference on Tuesday.

The idea is that the Omicron variant is a lot milder than the previous Delta strain, but the virus “continues to engulf the world,” Ghebreyesus said. “Do not be fooled, Omicron also causes hospitalisations and deaths, and even the mildest cases can overburden health facilities.”

While a peak seems to have been reached in some countries and the impression is that the worst of the last wave is over, “no country is completely out of the danger zone,” according to Ghebreyesus, who added that the situation will remain “critical” for health workers and systems in many countries in the coming weeks.

The low vaccination coverage in some countries is also extremely concerning, he said. “People are more likely to suffer from severe forms of the disease or die if they are not vaccinated. Omicron may be less severe overall, but the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading. It undermines the global response and costs more lives.”

Meanwhile, the Gavi vaccine alliance estimated that the initiative aimed at equitable access to vaccines across the world, Covax, will probably be able to deliver its two billionth dose in the next five months.

A few days ago, it was announced that, under the Covax programme, the billionth dose of the coronavirus vaccine had been delivered.

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