WHO calls for action "now" before omicron because the next few weeks are key

The World Health Organization (WHO) urges all countries to act quickly, as the coming days and weeks will determine the development of the omicron variant.

“If countries wait for their hospitals to start filling up, it will be too late. Don’t wait. Act now,” said the organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom.

This message has also been adopted by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist at the WHO, and stressed that one should not react in January or February.

He stressed “the use of proven public health tools to reduce transmission.” “The situation continues to be very diverse around the world and (the variant) Delta continues to be dominant globally,” he stressed.

So far, the director general of the WHO refers that almost 60 countries have notified the presence of omicron and has warned that this statistic will grow because its global spread and the large number of mutations suggest that it could have a great impact on the course of the disease. pandemic, although its scope is still unknown.

“We call on all countries to increase surveillance, testing and sequencing. Existing diagnostic tests work, both PCR and rapid antigen-based tests. Recent data from South Africa suggest an increased risk of reinfection with omicron, but more data is needed to draw stronger conclusions, “he said.

For his part, Dr. Michael Ryan, who is responsible for the WHO emergency response, has insisted on the issue of the virus’s transmissibility and indicated that its transmissible status does not make it “more virulent or lethal.”

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