Ease COVID Measures In a Slow, Steady Manner: WHO

2 min read
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries that are starting to lift COVID-19 measures to do so in a slow and steady manner, as recent data shows a sharp increase in coronavirus-related deaths around the world.

"Since the Omicron variant was first identified just 10 weeks ago, almost 90 million cases have been reported to the WHO, more than were reported in the whole of 2020. We are now starting to see a worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world."
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO

He reiterated his concern over the narrative in some countries that preventing transmission is no longer possible or necessary "because of vaccines, and Omicron's high transmissibility and lower severity."


"More transmission means more deaths. We are not calling for any country to return to a lockdown. But we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit, not vaccines alone," he said.

"It's premature for any country either to surrender or to declare victory."

According to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, more than 22 million cases have been reported to the WHO in the past seven days, largely driven by the Omicron variant.

More concerning right now is that the past four weeks(in January 2022) have seen a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus-related deaths around the world, which "shouldn't be happening at the present time when we have the tools to prevent this."

"Many countries have not gone through the peak of Omicron yet and now is not the time to lift everything all at once."
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead, Health Emergencies Program, WHO

She said that those countries should do so "in a steady and in a slow way, piece by piece," because this virus is quite dynamic.


Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, echoed that countries should chart their own paths in lifting the measures instead of blindly following what other countries are doing.

"I think it's a transition phase for many countries, not every country is in the same situation."
Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Program, WHO

"Those countries that are making decisions to open up more broadly also need to be sure they have the capacity to reintroduce measures with community acceptance quickly, if needed. So, if you open the doors quickly, you better be able to close it quickly as well," he added.

(This story was published from a syndicated feed. Only the headline and picture has been edited by FIT.)

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Topics:  WHO   Safety Measures   Lockdown 

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