Omicron especially dangerous for unvaccinated: WHO

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The Omicron variant is dangerous for the unvaccinated, says WHO boss. File photo
The Omicron variant is harmful for the unvaccinated, says WHO boss. File photograph
  • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 is much less harmful than the Delta one. 
  • Says it’s extra harmful for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Says individuals being hospitalised for the an infection are unjabbed. 

GENEVA: The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is harmful — and particularly so for individuals who haven’t been vaccinated towards the illness, the World Well being Group warned Wednesday.

The WHO stated the worldwide surge in circumstances was being pushed by Omicron, which is extra transmissible than the beforehand dominant Delta variant.

Greater than 15 million circumstances had been reported to the WHO final week — with hundreds of thousands extra circumstances thought to have gone unrecorded.

However the UN well being company insisted there ought to be no give up to the variant, dismissing the notion that it may very well be a welcome conduit to ending the pandemic.

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“While Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus — particularly for those who are unvaccinated,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed a press convention.

“We mustn’t allow this virus a free ride or wave the white flag, especially when so many people around the world remain unvaccinated.”

The “overwhelming majority” of individuals admitted to hospitals are unjabbed, he added.

Whereas vaccines stay very efficient at stopping loss of life and extreme Covid-19 illness, they don’t absolutely forestall transmission, stated Tedros.

“More transmission means more hospitalisations, more deaths, more people off work — including teachers and health workers — and more risk of another variant emerging that is even more transmissible and more deadly than Omicron.”

Tedros stated that the numbers of deaths worldwide had stabilised at round 50,000 per week.

“Learning to live with this virus does not mean we can, or should, accept this number of deaths,” he stated.

– Vaccine inequity –

Tedros needed each nation to have 10 % of their inhabitants vaccinated by the tip of September 2021, 40 % by the tip of December, and 70 % by mid-2022.

However 90 nations have nonetheless not reached 40 % — with 36 of them nonetheless in need of the 10-percent mark, he stated.

“In Africa, over 85 percent of people are yet to receive a single dose of vaccine. We can’t end the acute phase of the pandemic unless we close this gap,” stated Tedros.

Wealthier nations had made it “three times as hard” for dose-starved low-income nations by exporting misinformation fairly than vaccines, stated Bruce Aylward, the WHO’s frontman on accessing coronavirus instruments.

The WHO says Omicron had been recognized in 149 nations by January 6.

Some hope that on account of its elevated transmissibility, Omicron will substitute extra extreme variants and see Covid-19 shift from a pandemic into an endemic illness that’s extra manageable.

However WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan stated: “This is not the time to declare this is a welcome virus.”

Maria Van Kerkhove the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, stated it was tough to foretell the highway forward and Omicron was unlikely to be the final variant preoccupying minds on the UN well being company.

“We expect the virus will continue to evolve and become more fit… we expect to see outbreaks among unvaccinated individuals,” she stated.

“The virus is well on its way to becoming endemic — but we’re not there yet.”

In the meantime Tedros stated pregnant girls weren’t at larger danger of catching Covid-19, however had been at larger danger of growing extreme illness in the event that they did so.

He referred to as for pregnant girls to have entry to vaccines, and to be included in trials for brand new remedies and jabs.

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