COVID-19: insufficient vaccination and screening constitutes a “toxic cocktail”, for the WHO

COVID-19: Insufficient vaccination and screening is a & laquo; toxic cocktail & raquo ;, for the WHO

MISE & Agrave; DAY

The world is facing a “toxic cocktail” because of insufficient COVID-19 vaccine coverage and screening level, the WHO chief warned on Wednesday, ensuring that this was a breeding ground for variants. & nbsp;

“The end of the pandemic is not a question of luck, it is a question of choice”, declared the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a press conference.

“Globally, we have a toxic mix of low vaccination coverage and very low screening, a perfect recipe for variants to reproduce and amplify,” he warned.

This warning comes as the appearance of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus in November plunged the planet into panic. Never has a variant caused so much concern in the world since the emergence of Delta.

According to the WHO, Omicron – also known as B.1.1.529 – “has been reported for the first time. time at WHO on November 24, 2021 by South Africa, while the first known laboratory-confirmed case was identified from a sample taken on November 9. ”

Several European countries, including the Netherlands, have identified cases of the new variant that occurred before November 24, the date of notification by South Africa.

WHO on Friday called Omicron “worrying” variant, the highest level.

It worries experts because it has many mutations that could make it more contagious, and potentially more resistant to vaccines.

Des studies are underway to determine if this is indeed the case, and to what extent, but initial results should only be available immediately.

“Airtight lid”

“At least 23 countries in five of the six regions of WHO have now reported cases of Omicron, and we expect that number to increase, ”Tedros said.

By his side, the head of the management of the COVID-19 epidemic at the WHO, Maria Van Kerkhove, indicated that the organization did not yet know what the percentage of deaths associated with Omicron was.

But, she noted, “we expect to have more information on transmission in the coming days.”

There were four other variants of concern so far: Delta, which represents almost all of the sequenced cases in the world, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

During the press conference, Mr Tedros and Michael Ryan, WHO director for emergencies, reiterated that travel bans – put in place by some countries – will not prevent the spread of the Omicron variant on the planet.

“The idea that you can put a tight lid on countries is frankly not possible,” Ryan insisted, calling on countries to take action on principles. ” of public health and not politics ”.

Ms. Van Kerkhove also indicated that travel bans“ made it difficult ”to send samples from South Africa, even though the country is more than willing to share them.

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