WHERE: “Omicron” is spreading faster than any other variant


No variant of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 has spread as fast as Omicron, according to the World Health Organization, which estimates that the strain is now found in all countries.

WHO Secretary-General Tentros Antanom Gebregesus noted that so far Omicron cases have been identified in 77 countries. “But the reality is that Omicron is probably in most countries, even if it has not been identified yet. “Omicron is spreading at a rate we have never seen before in any other variant,” he explained of SARS-CoV-2.

READ ALSO: First case of Omicron in China amid fears about supply chains

“We are concerned about the fact that people consider Omicron mild. “Even if Omicron causes less serious illness, the number of cases could once again overwhelm those health systems that are not prepared,” he warned.

The head of the WHO also stressed that vaccines alone will not allow any country to emerge from the crisis and called for the use of all available tools: masks, regular ventilation of closed spaces and the observance of distances. “Do all this. Do it consistently. “Do the right thing,” he insisted.

Tetros noted that the emergence of Omicron has prompted some countries to accelerate booster vaccination programs for their entire adult population, “although we do not have data on the effectiveness of booster vaccines against this variant.” “The WHO is concerned that such programs will again lead to the accumulation of vaccines for Covid-19 that we have observed this year and will exacerbate inequality. “It is clear, as we go along, that booster doses could play an important role, especially for those who are at higher risk of developing a serious illness or dying.”

“I want to be clear: the WHO is not against the commemorative installments. “We are against (vaccination) inequality,” said Tetros. “It’s a matter of priorities. The order (vaccination) counts. “Giving boosts to low-risk groups only puts the lives of those at high risk who are still waiting for their first dose due to supply problems,” he explained. “On the other hand, giving extra doses to those at higher risk can save more lives than giving the first doses to those at lower risk,” the agency said in a regular briefing in Geneva.



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