There is present “consistent evidence” that the Omicron variant is outpacing Delta, arsenic COVID-19 continues to relationship for astir 50,000 deaths worldwide each week, said the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) connected Monday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists astatine WHO Headquarters successful Geneva that it was besides much apt that radical who person been vaccinated, oregon recovered from the virus, could beryllium infected, oregon reinfected.
Omicron is simply a variant of the microorganism that causes #COVID19. To support yourself and others:
💉 Get vaccinated arsenic soon arsenic it's your turn
↔️ Keep carnal region and debar crowds
🪟 Open windows
💪 Cough/sneeze into your elbow
👐 Clean your hands
“There tin beryllium nary uncertainty that increased societal mixing implicit the vacation play successful galore countries volition pb to accrued cases, overwhelmed wellness systems and much deaths”, helium said. “All of america are sick of this pandemic. All of america privation to walk clip with friends and family. All of america privation to get backmost to normal.
“The fastest mode to bash that is for each of america – leaders and individuals – to marque the hard decisions that indispensable beryllium made to support ourselves and others.”
He said delaying oregon cancelling events, was the liable happening to do: “An lawsuit cancelled is amended than a beingness cancelled. It’s amended to cancel present and observe later, than to observe present and grieve later.”
More than 3.3 cardinal radical person mislaid their lives to COVID-19 this twelvemonth – much deaths than from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined successful 2020, and Africa is present facing a steep question of infections, driven mostly by the Omicron variant.
Just a period ago, Africa was reporting its lowest fig of cases successful 18 months, Tedros reminded reporters, whereas past week, it reported the fourth-highest fig of cases successful a azygous week truthful far.
“None of america privation to beryllium present again successful 12 months’ time, talking astir missed opportunities, continued inequity, oregon caller variants”, helium said, hammering location erstwhile again, that for the pandemic to extremity successful 2022, “we indispensable extremity inequity, by ensuring 70% of the colonisation of each state is vaccinated by the mediate of adjacent year.”
Around the world, WHO is moving with countries to reconstruct and prolong indispensable wellness services disrupted by the pandemic, said Tedros, and according to caller information released this year, 23 cardinal children missed retired connected regular vaccines successful 2020, the largest fig successful implicit a decade, expanding risks from preventable diseases similar measles and polio.
Progress is inactive being made successful galore different areas of healthcare and medicine. Five countries were capable to present the quality papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) to forestall cervical cancer, and a further 9 are readying to present it implicit the adjacent 6 months, and successful September, WHO launched a planetary roadworthy representation to decision meningitis by 2030.
The pandemic has besides caused setbacks successful the agency’s efforts to decision the world’s starring infectious diseases, with an estimated 14 cardinal much malaria cases and 47 1000 much malaria deaths successful 2020, compared to 2019.
“However, WHO certified 2 countries – China and El Salvador – arsenic malaria-free this year, and a further 25 are connected way to extremity malaria transmission by 2025”, helium reminded journalists, and this year, WHO besides made an historical proposal for wide usage of the world’s archetypal malaria vaccine.
Loses and gains
Services for noncommunicable diseases person besides been hit, with much than fractional of countries surveyed betwixt June and October, reporting disruptions to services for diabetes, crab screening and treatment, and absorption of hypertension.
Summing up a tumultuous year, Tedros besides noted that respective important steps person been taken to fortify the planetary wellness architecture, and WHO itself.
"We launched the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence successful Berlin; We broke crushed connected the WHO Academy successful Lyon; We established the WHO BioHub System”, helium said. In aboriginal December, Member States agreed to negociate the world’s archetypal caller statement connected pandemic preparedness and response.
“We person besides taken decisive steps to code instances of intersexual exploitation and abuse, and to marque definite that our radical conscionable the precocious standards that we, and our Member States, expect of them”, helium said, pursuing shocking revelations of alleged maltreatment committed by immoderate WHO unit during the deadly tenth Ebola outbreak successful the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“2022 indispensable beryllium the twelvemonth we extremity the pandemic”, said Tedros, but to forestall a aboriginal catastrophe connected the aforesaid scale, each countries indispensable put successful resilient wellness systems, built connected superior care, and with cosmopolitan wellness sum arsenic the goal.
“When radical can’t entree the services they need, oregon can’t spend them, individuals, families, communities and full societies are enactment astatine risk”, argued Tedros.
“In the twelvemonth ahead, WHO is committed to doing everything successful our powerfulness to extremity the pandemic, and to opening a caller epoch successful planetary health – an epoch successful which wellness is astatine the centre of each country’s improvement plans.”