Vaccines alone won’t save world from pandemic: WHO chief | Sinhala News

ECONOMYNEXT – Vaccines alone will not get countries out of the COVID-19 pandemic and, even if the Omicron variant causes less severe disease, the sheer number of cases and noncompliance of health guidelines may lead to the collapse of unprepared health systems, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing on Tuesday (14) expressed concern that countries are dismissing Omicron as a mild variant, which he said could lead to a high caseload that may overwhelm health services.

“Omicron has now been detected in 77 countries. And the reality is that omicron is probably in most countries even if it hasn’t been detected yet,” Tedros said.

“It is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any other variant. 

“Even if it does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could overwhelm unprepared health systems.”

Noting that vaccines will not be enough, Tedros said countries should take necessary measures to contain the virus.

“It is not vaccines instead of masks. It is not vaccines instead of distancing. It is not vaccines instead of ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all, do it consistently, and do it well,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong study has found that transmissibility of the Omicron variant is higher than the Delta strain and can partially escape immunity from vaccines and past infection, though severity may be lower.

Related: Omicron spreads faster than Delta, but may be less severe: Hong Kong study


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