World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the Omicron variant should not be taken lightly.
Ghebreyesus, at the press conference he held with the video conferencing technique to mark the second year of the emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan, said, “Two years ago, a new global threat emerged while people were gathering for New Year’s celebrations.” Emphasizing that WHO took immediate action in the face of this threat, Ghebreyesus stated that 1.8 million deaths were reported in 2020 and 3.5 million deaths in 2021 due to COVID-19, “We know that the real numbers are much higher.”
Fears Omicron’s Tsunami effect
Ghebreyesus said that he is greatly concerned about the fact that the Omicron variant is contagious, is in circulation at the same time as the Delta variant, and that the number of events creates a “tsunami” effect due to the new variant.
The WHO Administrator said, “There are some ongoing statements that Omicron is milder or less severe. But on the other hand, we take it for granted. On the other hand, this can be dangerous. Because, due to the high rate of transmission, transmission can increase hospitalizations and deaths. We actually said that. and we see it.”
Pointing out that the rapid spread of Omicron will put a great deal of pressure on the health workers who are already exhausted and that the health systems may bring them to the brink of collapse, Ghebreyesus emphasized that this situation will inevitably have negative effects on the economy.
Pointing to the value of COVID-19 vaccines, Ghebreyesus emphasized that unvaccinated people are at a much higher risk of dying from both variants than vaccinated individuals.
Emphasis on “fixing vaccine inequality” key to ending the epidemic
Emphasizing that he is still optimistic that 2022 may be the year when the acute stage of the epidemic will end, Ghebreyesus reiterated his invitation to fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries.
Ghebreyesus underlined that eliminating the vaccine inequality remains the key to ending the epidemic.
Inviting all humanity to base the aim of vaccination of 70 percent of the world’s population until the beginning of July 2022, Ghebreyesus said, “The countdown begins now. If we run this campaign together, we will all be in a much better place by this time next year. Happy New Year.” used.