MANILA – The World Well being Group (WHO) within the Philippines warned towards the “harmful” assumption that Omicron would carry the world to the pandemic endgame as new variants may nonetheless emerge.
“We’ve loads of uncertainties in regards to the future evolution of this pandemic. It is extremely harmful to imagine that Omicron would be the final variant or that we’re within the endgame,” Dr. Rajendra Yadav, appearing WHO Philippines consultant, stated in a Laging Handa briefing.
“New variants may emerge and these new variants may evade our countermeasures, could even develop into absolutely resistance to the present vaccines which can necessitate vaccine variations,” he added.
Whereas vaccine provides have risen internationally, some international locations nonetheless have low vaccination protection and excessive transmission of the virus, which he stated may result in new variants.
In Africa, as an example, Yadav stated some international locations proceed to battle with their rollouts, leaving solely 11 % of the African inhabitants absolutely vaccinated.
“[L]ess vaccination means extra transmission there, and extra transmission means we’ve excessive probabilities of new variants rising there. However then, this could cross over to any nation. What occurs in different international locations impacts the Philippines too, as a result of we can not virus-proof our worldwide borders,” he stated.
“So if different international locations have low vaccination protection and excessive transmission of the virus, sure, we anticipate that we may have new variants within the coming weeks or months. Let’s hope that doesn’t occur,” he added.
Yadav stated there had been a “comparatively low variety of deaths” throughout the current Omicron surge within the Philippines and nationally, the well being care utilization price is “fairly steady”. Regardless of this, the general public and the federal government should stay vigilant.
“So for now we are able to say worst is over however that’s just for now as a result of we have no idea how lengthy this present favorable scenario will final. We have to hope for one of the best however stay ready for the worst,” he stated. (PNA)