Many international locations haven’t reached their peak in circumstances of the extremely transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus and measures imposed to curb its unfold must be eased slowly, the World Well being Group’s technical lead on COVID-19 mentioned on Tuesday.
“We’re urging warning as a result of many international locations haven’t gone by the height of Omicron but. Many international locations have low ranges of vaccination protection with very weak people inside their populations,” Maria Van Kerkhove advised a web based briefing.
“And so now isn’t the time to elevate every little thing abruptly. We’ve got all the time urged, all the time (be) very cautious, in making use of interventions in addition to lifting these interventions in a gentle and in a sluggish manner, piece by piece. As a result of this virus is sort of dynamic,” she added.
WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned the U.N. company was involved a few narrative taking maintain in some international locations that “due to vaccines, and due to Omicron’s excessive transmissibility and decrease severity, stopping transmission is not potential, and not vital.
“Nothing might be farther from the reality,” Tedros advised the briefing. “Extra transmission means extra deaths. We aren’t calling for any nation to return to so-called lockdown. However we’re calling on all international locations to guard their individuals utilizing each device within the toolkit, not vaccines alone.”
He added: “It’s untimely for any nation to give up or to declare victory.”
WHO’s emergencies chief Mike Ryan, addressing the identical briefing, urged international locations to chart their very own path out of the pandemic and never blindly observe others in enjoyable measures.
“I feel it’s a transition part for a lot of international locations, not each nation in the identical state of affairs. These international locations who’re making choices to open up extra broadly additionally have to be positive of capability to reintroduce measures, with neighborhood acceptance, if wanted. In order if we open the doorways shortly, you higher be very nicely in a position to shut them in a short time as nicely.”
Denmark and Austria final week grew to become the newest international locations to loosen up COVID-19 restrictions, after related strikes by Britain, Eire and the Netherlands, although different European nations deliberate new curbs to battle report numbers of infections.
In a separate on-line briefing earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Boris Pavlin of WHO’s COVID-19 Response Staff mentioned the rising BA.2 type of Omicron doesn’t appear to be any extra extreme than the unique BA.1 type. The worldwide response to the pandemic has created tens of 1000’s 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 atmosphere, a WHO report mentioned. —Reporting by Emma Farge and Manojna Maddipatla, Enhancing by Mark Heinrich