COVID-19: WHO says Omicron still hasn’t peaked in many countries

The World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 says many countries have not peaked in the number of highly infectious Omicron variants of the coronavirus and that restrictions are in place to limit Its spread should be eased slowly, the World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 said on Tuesday.

Maria Van Kerkhove said in an online conference: “We advise caution because many countries have not yet experienced the peak of Omicron. Many countries have low vaccination coverage among people who are very vulnerable. vulnerable in their populations”.

“And so, now is not the time to unload everything at once. We have always urged, always (must) be extremely cautious, in applying interventions as well as removing them. those interventions steadily and slowly, piece by piece, because she added.

WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan, speaking at the same meeting, urged countries to chart a path out of the pandemic and not blindly follow others in relaxation measures.

He said he feared that political pressure could lead to some countries reopening their societies prematurely, leading to further unnecessary transmission of COVID-19 and deaths.

“I think it’s a transition period for many countries, not all countries in the same circumstances. Those countries that are making the decision to open up more widely, also need to ensure the capacity to do so. put in place measures, with community acceptance, if needed. So, as if we’re opening up quickly, you’d better close it very quickly as well.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Kerkhove also expressed concern about the continued increase in the death toll from COVID-19 in some countries. “It’s too early for any country to surrender or claim victory,” Tedros said.

(Reporting by Emma Farge and Sri Kalyani Manojna Maddipatla, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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