The Omigron variant, which has been spreading at an unprecedented rate in the world since the onset of the Govit-19 epidemic, remains a “dangerous virus” despite causing less severe symptoms, a WHO boss said Wednesday.
“Although Omigron causes less severe symptoms than Delta (the variant that has dominated so far, the editor’s note), it is still a dangerous virus, especially for those who have not been vaccinated,” the organization’s director general, Tetros Adanom Caprese, told a news conference.
This variant, first identified in South Africa at the end of November 2021, then stormed the world, turning curves into vertical walls indicating daily epidemics in many countries.
Less severe symptoms – especially for those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have received a booster dose – Delta now makes some people see it as a mild illness.
However, Dr. Tetros warns, “The greater the spread, the greater the hospitalization, the higher the mortality, the greater the risk of inability to work, including teachers and health workers. Another variant develops, which is more contagious and dangerous than Omicron”.
“It’s not a mild disease, it’s a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Michael Ryan, the WHO’s person in charge of emergencies.
“Now is not the time to give up, this is not the time to compromise your security, this is not the time to say welcome virus, no virus is welcome,” Dr. Ryan said.
Some believe that, due to its extraordinary spread rate, Omicron will be able to transform into more dangerous variants and transform the epidemic into a more manageable local disease.
Dr. Maria van Kerkov, who is in charge of Kovit-19 epidemic management at the WHO, said, “The virus is on the way, but we’re not there yet” and it is difficult to predict what will happen. , Such as the appearance of a new variant.
“We do not have a flu-like forecast, it’s seasonal, maybe we’re coming with Covit-19, but we’re not there yet, so we’re careful in our predictions,” he stressed.
It is possible to put an end to the epidemic, but it is possible to reduce the epidemic not only in rich countries but also on conditions to expand higher vaccination rates worldwide.
“How this ends up is entirely up to us,” he said.
The WHO expects the virus to “continue to develop”, but in no direction. He expects epidemics to continue to erupt among people who have not been vaccinated and that the world will experience epidemics at the same time – for example cowpea and flu – and people will begin to meet again.
“But the vaccine can reduce the severity of symptoms and the number of deaths, but we also hope to improve care and facilitate access to this care,” the doctor said.
There are a lot of elements in the game, “but it’s up to each of us how this infection is going to develop,” he repeated.