WHO warns against ending protective measures too soon

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The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against the premature end of CoV protective measures. It is premature to consider the virus defeated, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday in Geneva. Since the emergence of the omicron variant about a decade ago, nearly 90 million new infections have been reported – more than in all of 2020, he said. “We are now seeing a very worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world.”

WHO said it was concerned that some governments no longer felt it necessary to further reduce the risk of infection through regulations such as mask-wearing or spacing. The justification for this, it said, is that vaccination rates are relatively high and omicron infects a lot of people but causes little severe disease. That is completely wrong, Tedros said. “This virus is dangerous, and it continues to change right before our eyes.”

Countries with high vaccination rates and good health systems, however, may soon be nearing the end of the acute phase of the pandemic, said WHO Emergency Coordinator Mike Ryan. But each government must consider its vaccination rate, as well as immunity within the population after it has been through infection and the strength of its health care system, he said. People at particular risk should continue to wear masks – even if it is no longer mandatory, he said.

  • source: ORF.at/agencies/picture: thestraitstimes.com
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