Omicron Variant Is Not ‘Mild’; Killing People Around the World, Warns WHO

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the surge in infections is putting pressure on the healthcare worldwide

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The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a press conference that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus should not be dismissed as “mild” and that it is killing people around the world, news agency AFP reported on Friday, 7 January.

Tedros added that while Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant on fully vaccinated people, the surge in infections is putting pressure on the healthcare worldwide.

"While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorised as mild," said Tedros, as per the AFP report.

He added, “In fact, the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world.”

Last week, the WHO recorded a 71% jump in COVID-19 cases at 9.5 million cases in just one week.

The WHO chief warned that these numbers are an approximation due to the pause in testing during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Vaccine Inequality

Tedros slammed the rich nations for hoarding vaccines and said that a few booster shots in smaller nations will not end the pandemic but ensuring vaccination of the billions, who do not have access to it, will.

He urged the nations to be equal and fair in sharing the vaccines in order to end the pandemic.

The WHO's Covid-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove reminded people not to be sloppy and step up the measures they were already taking to protect themselves against the virus. She added that it was shocking that people were not wearing masks properly.

“"It needs to cover your nose and mouth... wearing a mask below your chin is useless,” she said.

(With inputs from AFP)

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Topics:  coronavirus   WHO Chief   Omicron 

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