Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization chief, warned on Tuesday that it is too soon either to declare victory over Covid-19 or cease the attempts to halt transmission.
“It is premature for any country to either surrender or to declare victory,” the WHO chief said for reporters. “This virus is dangerous, and it continues to evolve before our very eyes.”
His statements followed Denmark became the first EU country to lift all Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday, despite current numbers of cases of the milder Omicron variant and several other countries considering similar measures.
“We’re concerned that a narrative has taken hold in some countries that because of vaccines and because of Omicron’s high transmissibility and lower severity, preventing transmission is no longer possible, and no longer necessary,” he exposed. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he added, underlining that “more Covid-19 transmission means more deaths”.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says there are “different scenarios” as to how the acute phase of COVID will end, but it could be achievable by the middle of the year if every country vaccinates 70% of its population.https://t.co/01cfl7zXkz
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Tedros indicated that after Omicron was first detected in southern Africa 10 weeks ago, nearly 90 million cases have been reported to the WHO, a superior number to the registered in all of 2020.
“We are now starting to see a very worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world,” he said, referring to the milder severity of the new COVID-19 variant. He continued to stress the imperious need to keep striving to halt transmission of the virus.
“We are not calling for any country to return to so-called lockdown,” Tedros disclosed, adding that even though “we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit, not vaccines alone.”