WHO says measures used against Delta should work for Omicron

Meaning persevering with to push for greater vaccination charges, abiding by social-distancing tips, and carrying masks, amongst different measures, mentioned WHO Regional Emergency Director Dr. Babatunde Olowokure.

He added that well being methods should “guarantee we’re treating the precise sufferers in the precise place on the proper time, and so due to this fact guaranteeing that ICU beds can be found, notably for those that want them.”

Kasai warned: “We can’t be complacent.”


WHO has beforehand urged against border closures, noting they typically have restricted impact and may trigger main disruptions. Officers in southern Africa, the place the Omicron variant was first recognized, have decried restrictions on vacationers from the area, saying they’re being punished for alerting the world to the mutant pressure.

Scientists are working furiously to study extra about Omicron, which has been designated a variant of concern due to the variety of mutations and since early info suggests it might be extra transmissible than different variants, Kasai mentioned.

Just a few nations in Western Pacific area are dealing with surges that started earlier than Omicron was recognized, although Covid-19 circumstances and deaths in lots of others have decreased or plateaued, Kasai mentioned. However that might change.

Among the many locations which have discovered the variant within the area are Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia — and it’s more likely to crop up in additional locations.

The emergence of Omicron is of explicit concern for organizers of the Beijing Winter Olympic Video games, now about two months away.

Beijing is adopting a collection of measures to scale back the danger the virus will unfold in the course of the Video games, Zhao Weidong, spokesperson for the organizing committee, instructed reporters at a briefing on Friday.

China has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward Covid-19 transmission and has a number of the world’s strictest border controls. Video games contributors should stay and compete inside a bubble, and solely spectators who’re residents of China and have been vaccinated and examined will probably be permitted at venues.

Globally, circumstances have been rising for seven consecutive weeks and the variety of deaths has began to rise once more, too, pushed largely by the Delta variant and decreased use of protecting measures in different components of the world, Kasai mentioned.

“We should not be shocked to see extra surges sooner or later. So long as transmission continues, the virus can proceed to mutate, because the emergence of Omicron demonstrates, reminding us of the necessity to keep vigilant,” Kasai mentioned.

He warned particularly in regards to the probability of surges attributable to extra gatherings and motion of individuals in the course of the vacation season. The northern winter season may also seemingly deliver different infectious respiratory illnesses, such because the flu, alongside Covid-19.

“It’s clear that this pandemic is way from over and I do know that individuals are anxious about Omicron,” Kasai mentioned. “However my message right this moment is that we are able to adapt the way in which we handle this virus to raised address the longer term surges and cut back their well being, social and financial impacts.”

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