Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday said globally, over 18 million confirmed cases of the Omicron COVID-19 virus have been reported in one week.
It noted that while Omicron continues to sweep the world, it is concerned about the impact the variant is having on already exhausted health workers and overburdened health systems.
It stated that Omicron is causing hospitalisations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating and overwhelming health facilities.
Its Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, who stated these during a virtual briefing on COVID-19, urged countries to brace-up as more COVID-19 variants may emerge.
He said: “I remain particularly concerned about many countries that have low vaccination rates, as people are many times more at risk of severe illness and death if they’re unvaccinated.
“Omicron may be less severe, on average of course, but the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading, hurts the overall response and costs more lives.
“I am proud COVAX delivered its one-billionth dose over the weekend. Of course, it’s not enough and we should do more. At a time of Omicron, it remains more important than ever to get vaccines to the unvaccinated.
“New formulations of vaccines are being developed and assessed for how they perform against Omicron and other strains.”
He added: “Vaccines may be less effective at preventing infection and transmission of Omicron than they were for previous variants, but they still are exceptionally good at preventing serious disease and death. This is key to protecting hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
“We’ve been able to track new variants like Omicron and this virus’ evolution in real time thanks to the efforts of thousands of scientists and experts around the world. More than 7 million whole genome sequences from 180 countries have now been submitted to GISAID, which was initially set up to track flu.
“This pandemic is nowhere near over and with the incredible growth of Omicron globally, new variants are likely to emerge, which is why tracking and assessment remain critical.”
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
FOOTNOTE: Do you want to share a story with us? Do you want to advertise with us? Do you need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348183319097 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org