Omicron variant presents “very high” risk, WHO warns
GENEVA / ANKARA – The Omicron variant of the coronavirus poses a “very high” risk globally, the World Health Organization warned as a special session of the world health body began on Monday.
“If another major outbreak of Covid-19 takes place at the behest of Omicron, the consequences could be serious,” the WHO said in a technical note to its members ahead of the meeting scheduled to respond to the need for an international treaty on the pandemic.
“The increase in cases, regardless of a change in severity, can place overwhelming demands on health systems and can lead to increased morbidity and mortality,” he added.
“Pericious and precarious”
WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said: âThe emergence of the highly mutated variant of Omicron underscores how perilous and precarious our situation is.
“The Omicron variant just demonstrates why the world needs a new pandemic deal, our current system,” he said, explaining that “it’s time to make choices to invest in a healthier future. , safer and fairer “.
He said the emergence of the Omicron variant “proves exactly why the world needs a new pandemic deal and a response system.”
The WHO on Friday named the variant of Covid-19 Omicron which was found in South Africa.
“South Africa and Botswana are to be thanked for detecting the sequencing and reporting this non-penalized variant,” he said after European and North American countries immediately imposed travel bans on countries of the United States. Southern Africa.
“We don’t yet know if Omicron is associated with more transmission, more serious disease, more risk of infections, or more risk of escaping vaccines. Scientists at WHO and around the world are working urgently to answer these questions. This plague, one that we can prevent, detect and treat, continues to cast a shadow over the world, “said Tedros.
He said it is not yet known whether Omicron is associated with greater transmission, more serious illness, increased risk of infections, or vaccine escape.
Scientists from WHO and around the world are urgently working to answer these questions, he said.
The emergence of the highly mutated variant of Omicron underscores how perilous and precarious our situation is, the WHO chief said.
“Health workers need to be vaccinated first,” he said, also noting: “We don’t need lockdowns, which are a last resort.”
Depending on the characteristics of the new variant, the WHO has warned that there could be future outbreaks of Covid-19, which could have “serious consequences”, depending on various factors, including where the outbreaks are can take place.
“The overall overall risk from the new VOC (a variant of concern) Omicron is assessed as very high,” the WHO said. (Anadolu)